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Aso, Pence vow to deepen Japan-U.S. economic ties

WASHINGTON (Kyodo) -- Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence agreed Friday to deepen economic and security ties between the two countries.

    Speaking to reporters after their meeting at the White House, Aso said he told Pence that he wants to cooperate with him in deepening bilateral economic ties and strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance.

    Aso said the two governments will discuss ways to further promote the economic relationship through high-level economic dialogue that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump agreed to launch during their talks the same day in Washington.

    The new dialogue between the world's biggest and third-largest economies will be headed by Aso, who doubles finance minister, and Pence.

    Aso congratulated Pence on his inauguration as vice president on Jan. 20, as well as his contribution to promoting relations with Japan when he was governor of Indiana.

    Pence told Aso that Japan is a close U.S. ally, and that the Trump administration wants to deepen bilateral relations in the economy, security, culture and other areas, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

    Pence was quoted by the ministry as saying he supports high-standard rules in trade and investment, and that it is important to create conditions for both countries to grow their economies.

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