TOKYO U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Tuesday the United States was eager to strengthen its trade relations with Japan, after meeting his Japanese counterpart in Tokyo.
Asked about a possible free trade agreement, Ross told reporters: "It's a little bit early to say just what forms things will take, but we are certainly eager to increase our trade relationships with Japan and to do so in the form of an agreement."
He added: "We made good progress in terms of establishing the overall issues and frame of reference for continuing dialogue."
Japanese Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko, also speaking after their meeting, told reporters he had a "detailed, frank and practical" discussion with Ross.
Separately, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will meet with Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso on Tuesday, kicking off talks in Tokyo that the White House hopes will open doors in Japan for U.S. products and attract Japanese investment in U.S. infrastructure projects.
(Reporting by Minami Funakoshi and Ami Miyazaki; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)