No Decisions in U.S.-Japan Telecommunications Talks

Associated Press

American and Japanese officials met Tuesday to discuss the issue of U.S. access to Japan's telecommunications market but failed to resolve any of the issues, a Japanese government official said.

Lionel Olmer, undersecretary of Commerce, resumed the stalled talks with Megumu Sato, minister of post and telecommunications.

"We exchanged views, but no conclusion was made on any specific issues," said a ministry official who spoke on condition that he not be identified.

The official declined to disclose details and said the meetings would continue today.

Olmer also was due to see Vice Minister Moriya Koyama.

Olmer was to meet Koyama last week, but the trip to Tokyo was postponed when U.S. Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige said the Japanese were not ready to talk about specific issues.

Olmer was seeking answers to American concerns that rules accompanying the April 1 conversion of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Public Corp. into a private company may discriminate against American manufacturers eager to sell to the Japanese market.

In the first telecommunications meeting Jan. 30, the United States expressed fears that new Japanese legislation could harm chances of U.S. sales. Telecommunications is one of four key areas in which U.S. officials say American makers could penetrate the Japanese market if trade barriers were removed. The others are electronics, wood products and medical equipment and drugs.

Pressures for progress in telecommunications increased last week when President Reagan said he would not ask Japan to extend limits on export of automobiles to the United States.

But he said the United States expected "reciprocal action" from Japan.

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