Toyota Motor Corp. President Katsuaki Watanabe says his company is open to a broader partnership with Ford Motor Co. if the U.S. auto maker asks for it.

Japan’s Nikkei business daily newspaper reports Watanabe says if the two companies did form a tie-up, it likely would focus on an alliance in technological development. However, he says, no such talks have taken place.

A Toyota spokeswoman is quoted as saying Toyota executives meet with heads of other auto makers when opportunities occur and consider tie-ups if they are proposed – but it doesn’t necessarily mean they will form an alliance.

The Japanese newspaper reported in December that Toyota Chairman Fujio Cho and Ford CEO Alan Mulally had met as the first step in potential partnership negotiations. But both auto makers said at the time the two executives did not discuss any alliance.