Finance Minister Taro Aso and his U.S. counterpart Steven Mnuchin agreed Tuesday to cooperate closely in defending financial markets and the global economy from the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

"We reaffirmed that we'll continue to carefully monitor the coronavirus impact on markets and that we're ready to employ all appropriate policy measures to safeguard the global economy from downward risks," Aso told reporters after phone talks with the U.S. Treasury secretary. "We agreed that we'll keep cooperating closely."

Aso also said they "welcomed" the two countries' emergency packages introduced recently to deal with the spread of the virus.

Their discussions came a day after the leaders of the Group of Seven major industrialized countries held their first-ever meeting via videoconference, in which they agreed to do "whatever is necessary" to overcome the fallout from the spread of the virus and safeguard against downside risks.

In a statement issued after the G-7 videoconference, the leaders said they expected finance ministers to coordinate on a weekly basis on the implementation of possible fiscal and monetary measures.

Aso said he told Mnuchin that it is essential to hold an early conference call by the G-7 finance chiefs and suggested it may be held next week.

Aso said he has no plans to hold one-to-one phone talks with other finance ministers from the G-7 countries at the moment.

The virtual G-7 meeting, involving the two countries, Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Italy, took place amid rising fears their economies could be tipped into recession as stricter border controls are put in place and there are already signs that consumption is slowing down.

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