Xinhua recently reported that the trade talks between the United States and Japan started on August 9. Because of the large number of disagreements, the talks could not be finished as scheduled and the two parties decided to continue on the second day. The Nikkei Index dropped by 1.33 percent citing worries about U.S. trade protectionism. Xinhua referred to a Nikkei (Japan Economics Newspaper) report, which indicated that the U.S. wanted to shift the talks into a free trade negotiation between the two countries, while Japan wanted to frame the talks under the TPP international agreement. The Xinhua article also quoted an Asahi News report on widespread concerns among Japanese industries, especially agriculture. The Trump administration had already threatened, not long ago, to increase the tariff on Japanese automobiles by 25 percent. According to Japanese media, the positions between the two countries are far from each other. Japanese Prime Minister Abe will soon face an election for the head of the party, while the U.S. President is about to be challenged in his first mid-term election. Nikkei is the world’s largest financial newspaper. Asahi News is the second largest Japanese daily newspaper.
Source: Xinhua, August 11, 2018