August 4, 2017 / 8:26 AM / 2 months ago

Japan trade minister welcomes cooperation between Toyota and Mazda

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

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.

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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