TOKYO, April 12 The United States has proposed
eliminating over 30 years its tariffs on Japanese motor vehicles
but Japan rejected the proposal because the time period is
unusually long, Kyodo News reported on Saturday.
The proposal was made during bilateral trade talks seen as
critical for a broader regional pact, said the Kyodo report,
which cited unidentified sources close to the matter.
Japan and the United States are seeking a bilateral deal, a
cornerstone of the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at
the centre of Washington's push to increase its Asian presence,
before President Barack Obama's state visit to Japan on April
Officials from the Japanese government's TPP taskforce
could not be reached immediately for comment on the Kyodo
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Japanese
Economics Minister Akira Amari concluded talks on Thursday, with
both saying big gaps remain despite progress.
The United States wants Japan to open its rice, beef and
pork, dairy and sugar sectors, while Japan seeks a timetable on
U.S. promises to drop tariffs of 2.5 percent on imports of
passenger cars and 25 percent on light trucks.
Japan is arranging for Amari to travel to the United States
for more talks next week, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga
said on Friday.
The TPP framework is a key part of Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe's growth strategy. Abe and Australian Prime Minister
Tony Abbott reached a basic agreement on a bilateral agreement
between their two countries on Monday after talks in Tokyo.
(Reporting by Antoni Slodkowski; Writing by Lisa Twaronite;
Editing by Paul Tait)