• Kyodo

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Japan and the European Union tried Monday to find common negotiating ground on farm trade liberalization ahead of a key World Trade Organization meeting here Wednesday.

During a meeting with EU Agricultural Commissioner Franz Fischler, farm minister Yoshiyuki Kamei reiterated Japan’s objection to a market-access proposal featured in a draft ministerial declaration. He also asked the EU to back Tokyo’s stance, a Japanese official told reporters.

The draft, presented Aug. 24 by WTO General Council Chairman Carlos Perez de Castillo, calls for the introduction of an upper limit on agricultural tariffs or the expansion of import quotas if these high tariffs cannot be lowered below the ceiling.