TOKYO (Rahnuma) : Japanese and U.S. trade chiefs held a meeting on trade here on Saturday before a summit between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and visiting U.S. President Donald Trump.
Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan’s minister for economic and fiscal policy, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had a discussion about issues including tariffs on agricultural and industrial products.
Motegi, who is in charge of trade issues with the United States, expressed his hope for a deal that is beneficial to both Japanese and U.S. businesses.
The trade talks began hours after Trump’s arrival in the Japanese capital for a four-day state visit which will include a visit to Japan’s newly crowned Emperor Naruhito.
Abe and Trump are scheduled to play golf and watch sumo wrestling together on Sunday before having an official meeting on Monday.
Local media forecast that what Trump sees as a trade imbalance between the two allies is expected to top the agenda during the summit on Monday.
At the working-level discussions in Washington earlier this week, U.S. and Japanese officials said that there remained a significant gap between their positions.
The United States is seeking greater access to the Japanese market for products such as beef, pork and wheat, while Japan has pushed for the removal of tariffs on industrial products including automobiles.