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Japan urges greater G20 coordination

Reuters WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Japan called on its Group of 20 counterparts to strengthen coordination to address potential risks to the world economy, as simmering trade tensions and China’s slowdown cloud the global growth outlook.

As chair of this year’s gathering of G20 major economies, Japan wants to deepen talks on global imbalances — an effort to divert Washington’s attention from bilateral trade imbalances and stave off U.S. pressure to negotiate two-way trade deals.

“I told my G20 counterparts that the group must act with the spirit of global coordination,” Finance Minister Taro Aso told reporters on Thursday after a dinner of G20 finance leaders.

“I explained that global coordination must be strengthened to address the various problems we face,” Aso said.

A Finance Ministry official said the G20 was an ideal platform for discussing global imbalances.

“There was no disapproval to the argument that to address imbalances, global policy coordination was crucial,” the official said.

Protectionism and trade tensions have hurt business sentiment, and were among factors the International Monetary Fund identified as risks in cutting its global economic forecasts.

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