August 4, 2017 / 8:26 AM / a year ago

Japan trade minister welcomes cooperation between Toyota and Mazda

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko said on Friday he welcomed the cooperation between Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T) on producing cars with next-generation technology.

Japan's Minister of Economy,Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko arrives at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan August 3, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Seko, speaking to reporters, said he was sure the tie-up between the two companies would contribute to the development of electronic vehicles.

He also said the government would consider ways to support the spread of next-generation cars including electric, plug-in hybrids and cars running on fuel cells.

Toyota and Mazda announced on Friday they would build a $1.6 billion U.S. assembly plant as part of a new joint venture, while Toyota would take a 5 percent stake in its smaller rival.

Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Chris Gallagher

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