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USTR Lighthizer, Minister Motegi speak by phone on U.S.-Japan trade talks

All national dailies reported on Sunday that USTR Lighthizer and Economic Revitalization Minister Motegi held informal talks over the phone on Friday and Saturday (Japan time). They agreed to have working-level officials arrange the schedule and agenda for the bilateral trade talks ahead of the U.S.-Japan summit in late May and to speak by phone again after the preparations are complete. Mainichi said the two officials talked over the phone for about one hour.


Nikkei reported on Saturday that when the two officials spoke on Friday, Lighthizer reportedly asked for the bilateral trade talks to be accelerated and the two officials confirmed the negotiation schedule, agreeing to continue coordination ahead of the U.S.-Japan summit meetings to be held in late May and late June. Nikkei said a Japanese government source conjectured that the USTR took the time to speak with Motegi in the midst of tense negotiations with China on Friday because President Trump is keen to conclude a bilateral trade deal at an early date in order to put pressure on China and Europe in their trade talks.

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