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U.S. trade rep Lighthizer says Japan agrees on fighting trade barriers

HANOI, May 20 (Reuters) - U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japan's economy minister, Hiroshige Seko, expressed an interest in strengthening bilateral trade and fighting trade barriers on Saturday, a statement from the U.S. trade representative said after the meeting.

The statement said they had a cordial first meeting, on the sidelines of the meeting of trade ministers from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries in Hanoi, Vietnam.

It said they: "agreed to promote mutually beneficial trade, fight trade barriers and trade distorting measures, foster economic growth, and help establish high standards."

"In particular, both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation to address common concerns with respect to unfair trade practices utilized by third-countries," it said. (Writing by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)