The Japanese government has decided to liberalize quotas on nine farm and fisheries products and cut tariffs on 40 others as part of a general trade package to open Japan's markets to foreign goods, a mass-circulation daily said yesterday.
The Tokyo Shimbun, quoting government sources, said Japan will tell the United States in talks in Washington on Monday and Tuesday that it is willing to expand import quotas on peanuts, kidney beans, peas, tomato ketchup, tomato sauce, canned pineapple, fruit puree, fruit paste and herring.
Officials in the Ministry of International Trade and Industry denied that any final decisions had been reached on Japan's farm product policy, but said related ministries were coordinating ideas for the Washington meeting.
It said tariff reductions would go into effect next year--four years ahead of the schedule set by the Tokyo Round of trade negotiations--on 40 farm and fisheries products named in informal U.S.-Japan talks in Geneva on May 5.
Among the items are meat, grapes, raisins, chewing gum, chocolate confectionaries and biscuits.
The paper said that next Friday the Cabinet officially will approve the general trade package, which also will include tariff reductions on manufactured products such as machinery, computers, medical equipment and film.