April 16, 2018 / 7:53 AM / 9 months ago

Japan, China finance ministers reaffirm importance of multilateral free trade

(Front row: L-R) Zhang Yong, vice director of the National Development and Reform Commission, Zhong Shan, China's commerce minister, Liu Kun, China's finance minister, Wang Yi, China's foreign minister, Taro Kono, Japan's foreign minister, Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan's economic revitalization minister, and Hiroshige Seko, Japan's economy, trade and industry minister pose during a photo session ahead of a high-level Japan-China economic dialogue in Tokyo, Japan, April 16, 2018. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Pool via Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese and Chinese finance ministers agreed on the importance of multilateral free trade in the face of global fears of trade protectionism, a Japanese official said on Monday.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso and China’s Finance Minister Liu Kun discussed the matter on the sidelines of high-level economic dialogue between Japan and China.

“There was no reference to (U.S. President Donald) Trump. They reaffirmed the importance of free trade in general,” the official told reporters after the meeting.

The bilateral economic dialogue was co-chaired by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and the Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi.

Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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