Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Takeo Hiranuma and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick agreed on Saturday to start a new round of automotive trade talks, Kyodo News reported, citing a Japanese official.

Kyodo News said that Zoellick suggested starting a new round of talks following the expiration of an auto pact between the two countries at the end of 2000 and that Hiranuma agreed to the offer.