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Japan wants Trump to understand country's trade issues: government spokesman
February 8, 2017 / 3:23 AM / 6 months ago

Japan wants Trump to understand country's trade issues: government spokesman

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga poses for a photograph during a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event in Tokyo, Japan August 30, 2016.Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo wants the Trump administration to better understand Japan's trade issues and recognize its contribution to the U.S. economy when leaders of the two nations meet this week, Japan's top government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump will meet in the U.S. this week.

Asked about the U.S. trade position with Japan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo's share of America's trade deficit had declined from historic highs and that Japanese firms have invested in the U.S. significantly.

"We want to gain understanding from the Trump administration and further develop the economic relations between the two nations," Suga told a news conference.

"We want to hold constructive talks about the overall economic relations between the two nations."

While Japan's economy still relies heavily on exports for growth, its officials are eager to alter lingering perceptions that the trade advantage is skewed to Japan, a view based on trade wars fought with the U.S. decades ago.

Suga also said the government would closely monitor the nation's current account balance, which would be affected by the domestic and overseas economies, forex, commodity prices and yield movements.

Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Sam Holmes

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