The Japanese government has proposed sharply cutting its tariff on a certain amount of U.S. pork over a 10-year period in talks with the United States on the Asia-Pacific free trade initiative, sources said Sunday.

The 12 countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade initiative are planning to hold a ministerial meeting in mid-March, with Singapore emerging as a candidate host country, sources close to the negotiations said Sunday.

Tokyo also proposed a safeguard system during ministerial-level negotiations with Washington in September, a measure which will be triggered if pork imports from the United States exceed a quota to be set, they said.