ANNAPOLIS, SEPT. 24 -- Top Toyota officials are pleased with improvements Maryland is making to the Port of Baltimore, but don't seem to have any plans now to expand American operations, Gov. William Donald Schaefer said today.

The governor spoke with reporters at the State House by telephone from his hotel room in Nagoya after a visit to the headquarters of Japan's leading automaker.

The Maryland delegation met with top Toyota officials, including the grandson of Toyota's founder.

Maryland officials rank Toyota as one of the Port of Baltimore's most important customers. Schaefer said one of his goals for the trip "was to let Toyota know how much we appreciate the amount of business and jobs" Toyota brings to the port.

Schaefer said he also "gently reminded them" that if they plan to expand their automobile exports to the United States, Maryland would like the expansion to take place at the Port of Baltimore.

But he said he got the impression no expansion is in the works, in part because the Japanese are concerned about the high value of the yen against the dollar.

The governor also said he is "positive that they {the Japanese} are very cognizant of the problem of the trade balance" and want to do something about it.

Now it is up to the United States and Maryland to be more aggressive and to "upgrade our international efforts" to increase exports of American products, he said.

The visit to Toyota Thursday was the major item on the agenda for the first three days in Japan.

State officials were to meet Friday with officials of Nagoya Port Authority and to visit NKG, the Japanese firm that owns Locke Insulators of Baltimore.

The state officials and Maryland business leaders on the trip will be in Japan until Tuesday, when they will fly to Taiwan for a week of meetings.