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Japan, U.S. to hold TPP-related talks

Kyodo

Japan and the United States will hold trade negotiations next week in Tokyo in parallel with the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks, the government said Thursday.

During the three-day meeting from Wednesday, Japan, which joined the TPP talks last week, will discuss safety standards and other matters in connection with autos, the insurance sector and intellectual property issues with the United States.

The U.S. delegation to the talks will be headed by acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler. Among the Japanese delegates will be Takeo Mori, ambassador for economic diplomacy.

“Japan’s readiness to address long-standing concerns regarding its automotive and insurance sectors, as well as a number of nontariff measures, was a critical factor in the decision of the United States to support Japan’s entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Cutler said in a statement.

She also said she looks forward to “reaching meaningful agreements in a timely fashion.”

The two countries announced in April they concluded preparatory talks needed for Japan’s participation in the TPP negotiations, agreeing that the United States will retain tariffs on cars and trucks.

The two sides also decided then to start bilateral, parallel negotiations on the automotive sector and other key areas of interest when Japan joins the TPP talks.

On July 23 toward the end of the 18th round of the TPP talks in Malaysia, Japan became the 12th member of the TPP talks for creating one of the world’s largest free-trade areas.