Japan readies package for Trump to help create 700,000 U.S. jobs

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan is putting together a package it says could generate 700,000 U.S. jobs and help create a $450-billion market, to present to U.S. President Donald Trump next week, government sources familiar with the plans said.

The five-part package, to be unveiled when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Trump on Feb. 10 in Washington, envisage investments in infrastructure projects such as high-speed trains and cybersecurity, said the sources, who declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Investing in overseas infrastructure projects dovetails with a key plank in Abe’s growth strategy, which is to export "high-quality" infrastructure technology.

Japan will invest 17 trillion yen ($150 billion) in public and private funds over 10 years, the sources said. That would include helping develop high-speed railways in the northeastern United States, and the states of Texas and California, and renovating subway and train cars.

The package also includes cooperation in global infrastructure investment, joint development of robots and artificial intelligence, and cooperation in cybersecurity and space exploration, among others.

The government may tap its foreign exchange reserves account to fund part of the package, the sources said.

It may also get funding from megabanks and government-affiliated financial institutions, as well as the Government Pension Investment Fund, the Asahi and other newspapers reported.

However, GPIF President Norihiro Takahashi said on Thursday there was no truth to reports that the Fund would invest as a part of the government package, adding that the Fund made its investment decisions to benefit policyholders.

($1=113.0100 yen)

(Reporting by Tokyo Newsroom; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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