Japan auto lobby hopes for forward-looking trade talks with U.S.

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s automaking lobby on Thursday said that it welcomed the fact that the United States would refrain from raising tariffs on Japanese car imports for the moment after the two countries agreed to start discussing a new trade framework.

"We welcome the fact that U.S. tariffs related to the Section 232 investigation into auto imports will not be invoked while negotiations are occurring," said Akio Toyoda, chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association and president of Toyota Motor Corp 7203.T, in a statement.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday announced the start of new trade talks which for now, protects Japanese automakers from further tariffs, seen as a major threat to the export-dependent economy.

Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Michael Perry