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Japan says tariffs decision may have 'big impact' on bilateral relations with US

  • The United States' decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium was "regrettable", Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said in a statement on Friday.
  • President Donald Trump pressed ahead with the imposition of 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent for aluminium on Thursday but exempted Canada and Mexico.
  • Japan's top government spokesman also said on Friday that Japan would continue to ask the United States to exempt it from the tariffs.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono at a meeting of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee at the State Department, on August 17, 2017
Mark Wilson | Getty Images
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono at a meeting of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee at the State Department, on August 17, 2017

The United States' decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium was "regrettable" and will likely have a "big impact" on economic ties between Japan and the United States, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said in a statement on Friday.

Kono said the decision would also impact the global economy, adding that Japan would respond appropriately upon examining any impact on Japanese companies and World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

President Donald Trump pressed ahead with the imposition of 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent for aluminium on Thursday but exempted Canada and Mexico, backtracking from earlier pledges of tariffs on all countries.

Separately, Japan's top government spokesman said on Friday that Japan would continue to ask the United States to exempt it from Washington's plan to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that Japan's steel and aluminum shipments did not pose a threat to U.S. national security and that they contributed greatly to employment and industry in the United States.