Japan, US struggle to bridge gaps over trade pact
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Japan, US struggle to bridge gaps over trade pact

TOKYO (AP) — U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and a top Japanese official say they still hope to bridge significant differences over opening markets under an ambitious pan-Pacific trade pact.

Froman and Japanese economy minister Akira Amari were meeting Wednesday in Tokyo after talks earlier in the week appeared to stall.

The U.S. wants Japan to open its markets wider to U.S. farm products in areas Tokyo has reserved for greater protections, such as dairy products, rice and beef. Amari said the two sides hope to forge a basic agreement before President Barack Obama visits Japan later this month.

Japan and Australia reached agreement on Monday on lifting some trade barriers, but Japanese media reports cited Froman saying that deal falls short of the requirements of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.