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The Ministry of Economy,Trade and Industry will address Japan’s auto and steel market practices when it compiles a rebuttal to the recent U.S. annual report on trade barriers, the ministry’s top bureaucrat said Thursday.

The U.S. report contains “some unilateral assessments and false understandings, and we will compile, as every year, the necessary rebuttals,” Economy, Trade and Industry Vice Minister Katsusada Hirose said at a news conference.

The ministry is worried about “false allegations that problems remain over automobile access and that steelmakers continue to act in a cartel-like manner,” Hirose said.

The United States urged Japan in its annual report Tuesday to redouble its market-opening efforts in key sectors, including telecommunications, agriculture and automobiles, to help spur economic recovery.

Top government spokesman Yasuo Fukuda responded Wednesday by saying, “The trade report contains inaccurate descriptions of Japan,” and promised the government would soon rebut the allegations.

The 2002 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers by the Office of U.S. Trade Representative called on Japan to reduce “considerable uneconomic excess capacity” among steelmakers to cope with a glut in the global steel market.

It also said, “The U.S. government remains disappointed with falling sales of North American-made vehicles and parts in Japan.”

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