It is no use discussing with the United States new measures for paper trade, Japan’s trade chief, Shinji Sato, said Mar. 25.

On March 21, the U.S. proposed to Japan certain measures to replace the current bilateral paper agreement, which is due to expire April 4, according to Japanese trade officials. They did not elaborate on the contents of the proposals.

Sato said that his staff is currently examining the contents of the proposals but that Japan’s basic stance remains unchanged. “Japan’s paper market is already open … and no new measures are necessary,” Sato told a news conference. “It can’t be helped even if we discuss the issue with the U.S.”

According to a Ministry of International Trade and Industry official, Japan’s aggregate imports of printing paper and paperboard, which the 1992 pact covers, nearly doubled to 867,000 tons in 1996 from 456,000 tons in 1992.

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