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Japan does not need to change at all its policy on liberalizing the insurance market, despite a newly released U.S. report critical of Tokyo on the matter, Vice Finance Minister Koji Tanami stressed Thursday.

The Japanese government will proceed with its liberalization plan as scheduled, Tanami told a regular news conference. While categorically denying the possibility of resuming bilateral talks on the bilateral agreement reached in 1996, Tanami said it was possible for the Finance Ministry to discuss insurance issues in general with the U.S. side.

Tanami’s remarks indicated that Japan will not delay its plan to open up the “third sector” of insurance products — a strong sector for American insurers — in 2001.

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