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imageTOKYO: Tokyo stocks rose Monday with sentiment lifted by upbeat talks over the weekend between US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.41 percent, or 80.22 points, to close at 19,459.15 while the Topix index of all first-section issues went up 0.49 percent, or 7.64 points, to 1,554.20.

The new US leader dropped his previous harsh rhetoric towards Tokyo over trade and currency issues, and reiterated America's commitment to Japan's security after North Korea launched a ballistic missile.

Trump had earlier accused Japan of devaluing its currency to boost exports, grouping it with other countries he says are taking "advantage" of the United States.

"It was really the best outcome for Japan, considering what investors had been worried about," said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

"The US could have said something aggressive with regards to trade and foreign-exchange rates, but it turns out these will be addressed by working-level officials, alleviating risks for a stronger yen," he told Bloomberg News.

A drop in the yen -- good news for exporters -- also supported Japanese shares.

The dollar rose to 113.68 yen Monday afternoon from 113.25 yen in New York on Friday afternoon, after official data showed Japan's economy expanded a smaller-than-expected 0.2 percent in the last quarter of 2016.

The world's number-three economy grew 1.0 percent over the year as exports and capital spending offset weak consumer spending, but it was slightly lower than the 1.2 percent expansion in 2015.

Toyota rose 0.69 percent to 6,491.0 yen and Hitachi gained 1.46 percent to 636.6 yen. Banking giant Mitsubishi UFJ Financial rose 0.07 percent to 764.7 yen.

Toshiba advanced 5.00 percent to 249.8 yen after a weekend report said the troubled group likely suffered a net loss of about 400 billion yen in the nine months through December.

The shortfall is linked to a special loss of around 600 billion yen at Toshiba's US nuclear unit, the Nikkei business daily said on Sunday.

Airbag maker Takata, at the centre of the industry's biggest safety recall, jumped 17.06 percent to 542 yen after it announced it would incur a net loss of 64 billion yen in the fiscal year to March, ending speculation about the size of its shortfall.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2017

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