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No compromise possible in principles of free trade with U.S.

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Japan and the United States recently held a first round of bilateral trade talks under an agreement reached between the leaders of the two countries last September.

The talks are aimed at addressing issues concerning digital trade, including e-commerce, as well as trade in goods like agricultural products and automobiles.

Toshimitsu Motegi, the minister in charge of Trans-Pacific Partnership and Japan-U.S. trade negotiations who represented Tokyo in the two-day discussions held in Washington, said the two sides share a common desire to “produce good results quickly.”

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer's office said in a statement that the two countries “reaffirmed their shared goal of achieving substantive results on trade.”

But the statement also said the United States “raised its very large trade deficit with Japan,” which hit $67.6 billion (7.6 trillion yen) in 2018.

As negotiations shift into higher gear in........

© The Asahi Shimbun