August 18, 2017 / 7:15 AM / in a year

Japan finance minister to visit U.S. in September to prepare for economic talks: sources

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso will visit the United States in September to hold an informal meeting with his counterpart to prepare for a second round of economic talks later this year, government sources told Reuters on Friday.

Taro Aso, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Financial Services of Japan, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Aso, who doubles as finance minister, hopes the next round of talks can be held in October. They were launched in April.

He is arranging to meet U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Sept. 5 or 6, the sources said on condition of anonymity because the plan has not yet been finalised. But that could be rescheduled depending on developments surrounding North Korea, they said.

Aso and Pence have led the U.S.-Japan economic dialogue, which is aimed at enhancing cooperation in areas such as trade and investment as well as the economic policies of both countries.

The upcoming talks could also include the issue of safeguard tariffs Japan has imposed on frozen beef from the United States and some other countries.

Some analysts worry that President Donald Trump’s administration, which is facing growing domestic turmoil, could intensify pressure on the country’s trading partners for concessions that would increase U.S. exports under his “America First” policy.

Reporting by Takashi Umekawa and Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Kim COghill

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