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Japan and US confirm trade talks to start out with goods

Washington eager to add services to the mix

A containership is loaded in Tokyo. Japan and the U.S. agreed in September to begin talks on a trade agreement on goods.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- American and Japanese trade negotiators have reaffirmed plans to initially discuss goods at upcoming formal talks in keeping with a previous commitment, it was learned Thursday.

Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan's point man for trade negotiations with Washington, saw eye to eye with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on the matter in a mid-December call. This apparently marked the first time the two had spoken by phone since late September.

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