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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Says Japan Must Push Deregulation

TOKYO -- Japan-U.S. trade relations are worsening as Japan continues to sell more in the U.S. and other foreign markets without substantially easing barriers in its own markets, an American official said Wednesday.

Instead of boosting exports, Japan needs to create more domestic demand and give teeth to its anti-monopoly laws, the official said after the first day of three-day talks on introducing more competition to Japanese markets.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Japan is increasingly relying on export-led growth while excessive regulation and anti-competitive practices help boost its trade surplus with the United States. He said the United States is warning Japan that it expects results from the talks and Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto's plans to deregulate financial and other markets.

The talks are part of the "Enhanced Initiative on Deregulation and Competition Policy," announced by Hashimoto and U.S. President Bill Clinton in June.