TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) - Japanese government bonds were steady on Wednesday as investors looked toward the next session's 10-year auction while awaiting the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting. * The Ministry of Finance will offer 2.4 trillion yen ($24.48 billion) of 10-year bonds on Thursday. * The U.S. central bank's statement at the end of its two-day policy meeting later on Wednesday could offer clues on when the Fed might begin to taper its $85 billion per month of asset purchases. * Weaker U.S. debt prices would weigh on JGBs and could push up yields here, although the two have not always moved in tandem lately due to diverging expectations of respective monetary policies. The Bank of Japan pledged to maintain its easy policy to hit its target of two percent inflation within two years. * "Ahead of tomorrow's 10-year sale, we have the FOMC outcome. I think investors won't begin to position for the sale until the results are known," said a fixed-income fund manager at a trust bank in Tokyo. * The benchmark 10-year yield was flat at 0.790 percent, holding above 0.770 percent touched last week, which was its lowest since May 14. The 10-year JGB futures contract ended morning trade up 0.05 point at 143.67. * The 30-year yield edged down half a basis point to 1.805 percent after touching 1.800 percent, its lowest level since June 19, while the 20-year yield was flat after earlier inching down half a basis point to 1.695 percent, its lowest level since June 28.