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Japan, U.S. remain apart on currency devaluation provision

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Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso met with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday, as their countries have been discussing a bilateral trade deal with a focus on whether it could involve a provision to prevent competitive currency devaluation.

Aso denied he and Mnuchin had discussed the issue of such a provision, while declining to comment in detail on the meeting that came on the sidelines of a meeting of Group of 20 finance chiefs in the Japanese city of Fukuoka.

Mnuchin proposed such a measure last year, but Japan has maintained that it will not discuss it during trade negotiations.

Such an agreement could restrict monetary authorities from intervening to stem excessive volatility and disorderly movements in the currency market.

Mnuchin said in a tweet after Sunday's meeting, "We discussed the ongoing close cooperation between the U.S. and Japan across a number of economic and security issues."

Japan and the United States have been discussing a bilateral trade agreement, with President Donald Trump urging Tokyo to help reduce U.S. trade deficits.

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