Trade deal eluding U.S., Japan, senior U.S. official says

WASHINGTON, April 18 Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:03pm EDT

WASHINGTON, April 18 (Reuters) - U.S. and Japanese trade negotiators have been unable to reach a deal to open Japan's markets more widely to imports ahead of President Barack Obama's visit to Japan, a senior U.S. administration official said on Friday.

Negotiators are down to a relatively limited set of outstanding issues but considerable differences separate the two sides, the official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Discussions will continue in the days and weeks ahead, but there is no particular deadline for concluding the talks, the official added.

Momentum behind the talks need not stall because negotiators have not struck a deal ahead of Obama's visit to Japan, the official said. (Reporting By Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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