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U.S. says agrees with Japan to accelerate talks on trade issues

WASHINGTON, Aug 17 (Reuters) - The United States and Japan agreed on Thursday to speed up talks on bilateral trade issues and explore ways to strengthen trade ties, the U.S. Trade Representative's office said, seven months after President Donald Trump pulled out of a Pacific Rim trade deal that included Japan.

USTR Robert Lighthizer also discussed with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono U.S. concerns about Japan's recent decision to raise tariffs on imports of U.S. frozen beef, the trade office said in a statement.

Lighthizer said he welcomed "the acceleration of discussion on trade with Japan that fulfills the administration's objectives of advancing free and fair trade with one of our largest trading partners." He did not elaborate on timing of the proposed talks. (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton and David Lawder; Editing by David Gregorio)