Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said Monday he will make efforts to resolve Japan’s feud with the United States over the connection fees charged by NTT Corp. when he meets President Bill Clinton later this month.
Speaking to reporters at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence, Mori said he hopes the matter can be resolved when he meets Clinton at the Group of Eight summit in Okinawa.
“When I spoke with Mr. Clinton (in early May), we agreed to work to solve the dispute before the summit, so efforts are being made to do so,” Mori said. “If there is (a specific plan) to break the deadlock, I would like both sides to work to settle the problem.”
The U.S. has called on Japan to reduce connection charges by 22.5 percent over two years, with the cut to rise to 40 percent. However, Tokyo has maintained that NTT could only bear a reduction of 22.5 percent over four years.
But given the rosy earnings projections for NTT, some within the government, including Posts and Telecommunications Minister Eita Yashiro, are calling for the telecom giant to accelerate its fee cuts.
NTT meanwhile maintains that accelerating connection fee cuts by even one year would leave its regional unit, NTT West Corp., with pretax losses of 30 billion yen in fiscal 2002.