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U.S.-Japan Phone Trade Talks Collapse

June 27, 1989|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — Talks between the United States and Japan over telecommunications trade broke down in the early hours today after a marathon bargaining session failed to forge an accord, a Japanese official said.

Japan's top negotiator in the dispute, Ichiro Ozawa, told reporters that no new talks are scheduled.

"Japan made a last-ditch proposal to the U.S.," he said. But the two sides could not reach an agreement.

Washington has threatened to take retaliatory measures against Japan if the dispute is not settled by July 10. It wants greater access to the Tokyo market for mobile telephone companies including Motorola Inc., the U.S. electronics conglomerate trying to penetrate the market.

"The new Japanese proposal was very constructive," Deputy U.S. Trade Representative S. Linn Williams told reporters after more than four hours of talks with Ozawa that began at midnight. "There was a lot of progress.

"Unfortunately, we could not find enough to close (the gap between the two sides)."

Ozawa said Japan will not propose further negotiations.

Japanese officials cited two sticking points in the talks.

One was that the United States wanted Japan to say which three-megahertz radio band would be allocated to Motorola in the future to allow its mobile telephones to operate widely in Tokyo and Nagoya.

Tokyo has promised to provide Motorola with a radio band but is unable to specify which one because the three-megahertz band is so crowded, they said.

Apart from the three-megahertz band, Japan proposed to give Motorola a two-megahertz band immediately.

Another sticking point was U.S. demands to introduce Motorola's small hand-held cellular phones into the Japanese market, Japanese officials said.

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