Japan and the United States failed Wednesday to move closer over outstanding issues in their bilateral talks related to a Pacific regional trade pact, providing little hope of a breakthrough before U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Tokyo scheduled for only two weeks away.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, who met with his Japanese counterpart, Akira Amari, told reporters the two parties "still have gaps" over such issues as removal of Japanese tariffs on farm products and auto trade, the biggest sticking points in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks.

Amari also told reporters they "still remain apart" over the issues, adding they will resume negotiations Thursday morning to make progress toward reaching a bilateral deal, which is seen as crucial to conclude the broader 12-country TPP negotiations.