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Japanese and U.S. negotiators narrowed their differences but were still unable to close a deal as the sixth round of official bilateral civil aviation talks ended here Thursday.

Officials were aiming to draw up a four-year transitional agreement during the four-day meeting, to increase aviation services for the trans-Pacific market. “We could not reach a final agreement,” a senior official in the Japanese transport ministry said. “But this was the most productive meeting that we have had. We will stay in contact on an unofficial basis to reach a final agreement at the next meeting.” The two sides will meet again from Jan. 20 to 22 in Washington.

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