U.S. Urges Japan to Open Farm, Services Markets Further


Washington, March 29 (Jiji Press)--The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, in a report on foreign trade barriers published on Friday, urged Japan to open its agriculture and postal and insurance services markets further.

The request suggests that the U.S. government may make strong demands to Japan at their first round of negotiations on a bilateral trade agreement, which will be held in April at the earliest, and at summit meetings.

The annual report expressed U.S. eagerness to rectify chronic trade imbalances with Japan and said the U.S. administration "remains committed to achieving a fair and reciprocal trading relationship with Japan."

The report criticized Japan's high tariffs on beef, pork, wheat, sugar, citrus, wine and dairy products. It described Japan's beef safeguard program and rice import and distribution system as "nontariff barriers."

Discussing the services field, the report urged Japan to "enhance fair competition" by leveling the playing field between Japan Post Holdings Co. <6178> and private companies such as financial institutions and delivery services operators.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press