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Japan and the United States started bilateral vice ministerial-level civil aviation talks Sept. 22 at the Transport Ministry in an effort to resolve the current dispute over liberalization of the aviation market in the Asia-Pacific region.

At an earlier meeting in July, the two sides set a goal to reach an agreement by the end of September. On Sept. 22, the negotiators discussed such issues as an increase in flight quotas for so-called nonincumbent carriers and “beyond rights,” which allow carriers to fly to third countries via Japan or the U.S, a Transport Ministry official said.

However, the official told reporters that the U.S. negotiators put forward stronger demands in these areas than they had in the previous meeting in Washington. “The first day was disappointing,” the official said.

During the five-day negotiations in Tokyo, the sides are being represented by Alan Larson, U.S. assistant secretary of state, and Hiromichi Toya, vice minister for international affairs at the Transport Ministry.

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