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Japan to ask U.S. to be exempted from steel, aluminum tariffs

TOKYO, March 9 (Reuters) - 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 aluminum.

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.

U.S. President Donald Trump pressed ahead on Thursday with import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent for aluminum but exempted Canada and Mexico and offered the possibility of excluding other allies, backtracking from an earlier "no-exceptions" stance. (Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Chris Gallagher)