Japan, U.S. negotiators fail to reach agreement on trade, to extend talks
* Motegi, Lighthizer to meet again for talks Friday
* Talks 'getting closer' to a conclusion - Motegi
* Japan, U.S. striving for tangibles at weekend summit
(Adds quotes, detail)
By Andrea Shalal and David Lawder
WASHINGTON, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Top negotiators for Japan and
the United States on Thursday failed to reach an agreement on a
two-way trade deal and decided to extend talks for another day
in a last-ditch effort to bring tangibles to a weekend bilateral
After marathon four-hour talks with U.S. Trade
Representative Robert Ligthizer on Thursday, Japanese Economy
Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters that the two countries
were "getting closer to reach a conclusion".
But he added that negotiations were taking time because they
involved details covering a wide range of areas that directly
affect both country's national interest.
"It's as expected but we're spending quite a long time,"
Motegi said of the negotiations, adding that he will meet with
Lighthizer again on Friday.
Motegi is visiting Washington D.C. for talks with
Lighthizer, where the two sides hope to narrow gaps on areas
such as agriculture and automobiles in order to clinch an early
Thursday's talks followed a five and a half hour meeting on
Wednesday, suggesting negotiators were making last-minute
efforts to reach some agreement when Japanese and U.S. leaders
meet on the sidelines of a weekend Group of Seven summit in
Motegi said he will fly straight to France and may join the
meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S.
President Donald Trump, where the two will likely discuss trade
among other topics.
When asked whether the bilateral summit could reach a
conclusion on trade, Motegi said: "We'll see what we can do (in
Under his "America First" policy, Trump has been urging
Japan and other trading partners to take steps to fix what he
sees as unfair trade imbalances with the United States.
During his visit to France, Trump will talk to his
counterparts about how to open up their markets to ensure U.S.
businesses have avenues to sell good and services.
While separate trade talks with China and Europe have made
little headway, Trump is keen to clinch an early deal with Japan
that would open up its politically sensitive agriculture sector,
as well as curbing Japan's U.S.-bound auto exports.
Japan, on the other hand, wants the United States to cut
tariffs on imports of car parts and industrial goods - something
Washington is reluctant to do.
(Additional reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Leika Kihara in
Editing by Chris Gallagher and Michael Perry)
First Published: 2019-08-23 03:00:15
Updated 2019-08-23 03:55:23
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