Japan has less room to compromise with the United States under a bilateral trade deal than under a multilateral agreement like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso said, taking a swipe at U.S. attempts to directly pressure Tokyo into opening up heavily-protected markets like agriculture.

Also also said Japan and some other Pacific nations are preparing to discuss in Vietnam next month the possibility of going ahead with the TPP trade pact without the United States. A ministerial meeting of TPP signatories is expected to take place alongside the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Aso, leading Japan in a newly created bilateral economic dialogue with the United States, said that under the TPP, Japan was able to accede to more U.S. demands as it could make up for losses through agreements with other countries.