Japan has pledged a series of far-reaching economic measures intended to slash its huge trade surpluses.
Japan has pledged a series of far-reaching economic measures intended to slash its huge trade surpluses. United States Special Trade Representative Robert Strauss, speaking in Tokyo on Friday (13 January), said the moves would re-define the United States-Japanese economic relationship. In a joint communique issued after two days of talks, it was announced that, in the next financial year, Japan would greatly reduce its current trade surplus.
SYNOPSIS: In the financial year ending in March, Japan's current account surplus is expected to top 10 billion dollars. This was one of the things Mr. Strauss wanted to discuss. The surplus had been the target for strong criticism in the United States.
Leading the Japanese delegation was External Economic Affairs Minister Nobuhiko Ushiba, and Mr. Strauss also had talks with Agriculture Minister Ichiro Nakagawa and Finance Minister Tatsuo Murayama. The communique said that, in April, Japan would cut tariffs on imports worth two billion dollars, and that Japan would remove quota controls on 12 products, and set up a new foreign exchange control system under which all transactions would be free, unless specifically prohibited.
Mr. Strauss summed up by saying both sides had reached a much more significant agreement than he had originally anticipated.