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Japan, U.S. to hold working-level trade talks from Mon.

Tokyo, June 4 (Jiji Press) — Japan and the United States will hold working-level talks on a proposed bilateral trade pact in Washington for two days from Monday, Japanese economic revitalization minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Tuesday.

To be attending the meeting from Japan are bureau directors-general of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Based on the talks held between Motegi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in late May, the working-level officials will sort out the points for future discussions regarding agricultural and industrial products.

“We judged that it would be helpful to have discussions from professional and technical perspectives,” Motegi told a press conference.

According to Japanese government officials, participants in the working-level meeting will check the two countries’ effective tariff rates and trade volumes for agricultural products, automobiles and other items, and review requests from each side.

Before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held talks with U.S. President Donald Trump in Tokyo on May 27, Motegi and Lighthizer, also meeting in the Japanese capital, agreed to speed up the bilateral trade talks.

The two sides remain far apart in the negotiations, however, with the United States seeking early opening of Japanese agricultural markets and Japan requesting the removal of U.S. tariffs on automobiles and other items.

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