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Japan Seeks Balanced Trade, Nakasone Says : But Other Nations Must Do Their Part, He Stresses

October 08, 1985|SAM JAMESON | Times Staff Writer

TOKYO — Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone said Monday that Japan "will correct any causes of trade imbalances for which it is responsible" but added that its efforts must be matched by "comparable efforts by our trading partners."

Nakasone said the United States and other countries that have trade deficits with Japan should reduce their budget deficits and make their products more competitive. The U.S. trade deficit with Japan is heading toward $50 billion this year.

"The imbalances in the world economy today . . . cannot be (corrected) by any one country acting alone," he said in a speech that he read, in English, to the foreign press.

He said he welcomed a strengthening of the yen's value, which will make Japan's exports more costly and its imports less costly, as a result of an American-initiated meeting Sept. 22 in New York of the so-called Group of Five, the finance chiefs of five industrialized nations. Since then, he noted, the dollar has fallen in value against the yen by about 12%, and he said: "I highly appreciate and welcome this development."

The dollar closed at 214.90 yen on the Tokyo Foreign Exchange Market on Monday. On the eve of the Group of Five meeting, it was trading at 242 yen.

Meeting With Reagan

Nakasone, who will leave Oct. 19 to visit the United Nations and meet with President Reagan, said: "Japan will correct any causes of trade imbalances for which it is responsible. Japan will do what it must do.

"I believe in the importance of honor and fairness, and it pains me to hear Japan labeled as unfair. I am determined to work to stop such criticism."

He said he will speed up plans to implement a program of action that he announced July 30 and will propose legislation to simplify standards and certification procedures at a special session of Parliament opening next Monday. Originally, implementation was to have been spread over three years.

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