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Trade war

US presses for quick Japan trade deal as China talks stall

Washington plays phone diplomacy to keep pressure on Tokyo

Japanese fruit farmers, like this one in Yamanashi Prefecture, risk tougher competition from U.S. products if Japan lowers protective tariffs.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The U.S. pushed Japan for a quick agreement on a bilateral trade deal, with the lead negotiators speaking Friday by phone, according to sources close to the Japanese government.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan's economic and fiscal policy minister, reportedly confirmed a negotiating schedule aimed at striking a deal early on. The call was made immediately after the White House trade team met with Chinese counterparts in Washington on Thursday evening local time.

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