TOKYO – Talks between the United States and Japan on a Pacific Rim trade pact have halted for now without any resolution in sight, spoiling plans for a showcase deal during President Barack Obama’s visit to Tokyo.
Economy minister Akira Amari, Japan’s top negotiator, said too many issues remained unresolved and further working-level talks will be needed to reach a market-opening pact as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Amari told reporters Thursday that no end was in sight. He described the negotiations as in a “tough situation.”
The two sides had hoped to proclaim a broad agreement or at least significant progress during Obama’s visit, which ends Friday.
A Japan-U.S. deal is seen as crucial for talks among the other 10 countries participating in the U.S.-led initiative to move ahead.