Transport Minister Makoto Koga expressed disappointment August 5 over the progress of U.S.-Japan civil aviation talks currently under way in Tokyo, saying negotiations seems to be moving backward.

“Both sides had had arguments through unofficial negotiations. It appears that we are now standing at the starting point again,” Koga told a regular news conference. Prior to the bilateral negotiations, Koga sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, urging the U.S. to take a “realistic approach” to the issue.

The three-day official vice-ministerial-level talks started August 4 in an effort to resolve the bilateral dispute. Although the two countries aim to reach an accord in September, some officials predict the talks might drag on beyond the deadline.

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