From: Steve Hurst/CNN
Subject: More Trade Tensions With Japan
The State Department says a move by the Federal Maritime Commission against Japanese ships entering or leaving U.S. ports is the result of U.S. sanctions imposed on Sept. 4 after a failure of negotiations over the Japanese port practices.
A State Department official said the United States considers the Japanese port regime to be "costly, arbitrary, non-transparent and inconsistent with normal and recognized international shipping practices."
While imposition of the sanctions and restrictions on shipping could cause some snarls and inconvenience, the official said the issue at hand is of a relatively low rank among the larger set of problems the United States has with Japan over trade.
"Other trade issues far eclipse this one," the official said.
Specifically, this situation arises from the U.S. belief that Japan restricts the ability of U.S. firms to operate terminals or provide stevadore service at Japanese ports.
The official said the action was taken by the Maritime Commission finally after Japan failed to live up to an April promise to approve licensing applications from U.S. operators within four months.
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Thursday Oct. 16, 1997
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