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World

Japan, US reaffirm readiness to use bold steps to escape crisis: Aso

  • Speaking after his first talks with Yellen since she became the new US Treasury Secretary, Aso said they had also agreed that it was important to hold close discussions on foreign exchange rates.
  • We reaffirmed that it's important to maintain G7 (Group of Seven) as well as G20 (Group of 20) agreements of up until now.
Published February 1, 2021
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TOKYO: Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Monday he and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen agreed in phone talks that the highest priority was to get their economies out of the current crisis through bold fiscal measures.

Speaking after his first talks with Yellen since she became the new US Treasury Secretary, Aso said they had also agreed that it was important to hold close discussions on foreign exchange rates.

"We reaffirmed that it's important to maintain G7 (Group of Seven) as well as G20 (Group of 20) agreements of up until now," Aso told reporters after the talks, which came as both countries continue their battle to cushion the economic blow from the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the call, Aso also brought up that Japan wants to move forward with international discussions aimed at reaching a global taxation agreement, he said.

Aso had told parliament last month that Japan's views on key economic topics were in line with those expressed by Yellen at her congressional testimony.

Key for Japanese policymakers is the US currency policy under the Biden administration, due to Tokyo's long history of having to jawbone investors or directly intervene in currency markets to address unwelcome yen spikes that hurt exports.

Yellen last month said the value of the dollar should be determined by markets, a break from former President Donald Trump's desire for a weaker US currency.

"The United States does not seek a weaker currency to gain competitive advantage and we should oppose attempts by other countries to do so," she said.

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