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International relations

Japan's trade point man strives to shield talks from Trump

Tokyo hopes April 15-16 negotiations set positive tone for summit

Japan-U.S. trade discussions have made more progress since Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi took over as Japan's lead negotiator last year.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- The upcoming Japan-U.S. trade talks present a challenge for lead Japanese negotiator Toshimitsu Motegi: make enough headway to persuade U.S. President Donald Trump not to intervene and potentially upend the whole process.

Motegi, Japan's economic and fiscal policy minister, will visit Washington on April 15-16 for the two sides' first negotiations since Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed in September to work toward a trade agreement on goods.

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