U.S., Japan seek conclusion of trade talks within four months - statement

U.S. President Donald Trump greets Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a 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

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Japan and the United States on Wednesday said they intend to conclude their trade consultations within about four months and to refrain from actions “against the spirit” of an initial agreement, a joint statement released by Japan said.

The statement did not specifically mention the threat of U.S. tariffs on Japanese cars, but it used language similar an agreement a year ago between U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe not to impose punitive tariffs while negotiations continued.

“While faithfully implementing these agreements, both nations will refrain from taking measures against the spirit of these agreements and this joint statement,” the countries said. “In addition, both nations will make efforts for an early solution to other tariff related issues.”

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama