U.S. Trade Representative William E. Brock said Sunday that Japan must take quick action to open its telecommunications market to foreign firms to avoid a serious backlash in the United States.
"If there is no success in getting results in this area, surely very negative and unfortunate reactions will ensue in the United States," a Japanese trade official quoted Brock as saying. Brock was speaking to Japanese International Trade and Industry Minister Keijiro Murata after Sunday's session of four-way trade talks, which began Saturday with the European Economic Community and Canada.
Brock expressed disappointment that U.S.-Japan talks in Tokyo late last month on telecommunications failed to make significant progress, the official said.
The United States is worried that regulations taking effect April 1, when Japan's telecommunications industry will be opened to private firms, will deny U.S. companies fair and equal access to the Japanese market. Brock and Murata also discussed what action should be taken when an agreement limiting Japanese car exports to the United States expires at the end of March, the official said.
Brock repeated U.S. demands that Japan take steps to open its markets to forestry products, electronics, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals as well as telecommunications, the official said.
Brock and Murata meet again today for the final session of the four-way trade talks.