WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior Japanese official says the U.S. and Japan should reach a compromise in bilateral trade negotiations to help conclude a trans-Pacific free trade pact by year’s end.

Hiroyuki Ishige told a Washington think tank Tuesday that political leaders of both sides need to make bold decisions and recognize the strategic importance of finalizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

Ishige is chairman of the Japan External Trade Organization.

U.S. is continuing negotiations with Japan in Washington this week on opening up its auto market. Japan is also under pressure to open up its agricultural sector.

The U.S. and Japan are the largest players in the 12-nation TPP and resolving their differences is a major hurdle in finalizing the pact, whose members account for 40 percent of global economic output.

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