Japan, Australia to seal trade pact, cutting beef, car tariffs - Japan media

TOKYO, April 7 Sun Apr 6, 2014 5:42pm EDT

TOKYO, April 7 (Reuters) - Japan and Australia will announce a basic trade agreement on Monday, featuring cuts to Tokyo's tariffs on imported beef and Canberra ending its duty on cars, Japanese media said.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who will meet his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on Monday, told reporters in Tokyo on Sunday he was "hopeful but not certain" about the prospects for a bilateral pact.

The leaders will announce a deal in which Japan cuts its tariffs on Australian beef below 20 percent from the current 38.5 percent and Australia scraps its 5 percent duty on small and midsize Japanese cars, the Nikkei, Asahi and Yomiuri newspapers reported.

They cited unnamed sources for the information. (Reporting by William Mallard; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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