March 23, 2018 / 12:45 AM / 6 months ago

CORRECTED-Japan will closely communicate with the U.S. over trade issues-Seko

(Corrects consultation period for tariffs to 30 days from 60 days, paragraph 3)

TOKYO, March 23 (Reuters) - Trade minister Hiroshige Seko said on Friday that Japan would communicate closely with the United States over trade issues.

He also said retaliation against U.S. trade measures could destroy the system of free trade, and said Japan would consider necessary steps within the framework of the World Trade Organization.

Seko made the comment after U.S. President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum on Thursday targeting up to $60 billion in Chinese goods with tariffs, but only after a 30-day consultation period that starts once a list is published.

The U.S. also is set to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports but new tariffs will unlikely apply to partners including the European Union, Mexico and Canada. (Reporting by Ami Miyazaki, writing by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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