The United States on Friday again urged Japan to buy more foreign computers and services in accordance with a 1992 bilateral arrangement, Foreign Ministry officials said Friday.

The request was made during a meeting in Tokyo between the Foreign Ministry and the U.S. Trade Representative.

In fiscal 1997, foreign computers increased their market share to 22.4 percent from 19.6 percent the previous year. In addition, orders for hardware and software as well as maintenance and other services worth 62.82 billion yen were placed with foreign companies, a 16.5 percent share.

The U.S. delegation says the levels are still low.

Specifically, the U.S. is asking for transparent procurement procedures so foreign companies can have greater access to information and more opportunities to bid on Japanese government contracts.

The U.S. also reiterated the need for the Japanese government to take the cost-performance ratio into consideration when looking at bids, rather than simple prices.

Meanwhile, the Japanese representatives asked their counterparts to encourage the private sector to try harder, saying that the Japanese government has guaranteed competitive market entrance opportunities, the officials said.

Both sides agreed to continue to exchange their opinions to improve the situation, they said.

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