April 12, 2019 / 1:01 AM / 12 days ago

Japan's Motegi says Japan-U.S. talks set for April 15-16

FILE PHOTO: Japan's Minister of Economic Revitalization Toshimitsu Motegi speaks during the signing agreement ceremony for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, in Santiago, Chile March 8, 2018. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido

TOKYO (Reuters) - Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Friday Japan and the United States will hold a first round of trade talks on April 15-16 in Washington, to find ways to address U.S. concerns over the large surplus Japan enjoys in bilateral trade.

U.S. President Donald Trump has made clear he is unhappy with Japan’s $69 billion trade surplus with the United States - nearly two-thirds of it from auto exports - and wants a two-way agreement to address it.

Motegi said he intends exchange views frankly with his counterpart U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and hold good talks based on Japan’s national interests.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to meet Trump in the United States in late April for talks on North Korea and Japan-U.S. trade.

Reporting by Yoshifumi Takemoto, writing by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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