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Abe, Trump agree to cooperate on steps to fight coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, New York, U.S., September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday agreed to cooperate closely on measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including the development of drugs and vaccines, Japan’s top government spokesman said.

Abe and Trump held talks by phone for about 45 minutes from around 10:00 a.m. (0100 GMT), Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.

“Two leaders exchanged views on each country’s COVID-19 situation, steps to prevent further spread of the virus, development of medicine and vaccines and measures for reopening the economies,” Suga told a regular news conference.

“They agreed to continue their tight cooperation.”

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Shri Navaratnam