In view of the intention expressed by the Trump Administration of the United States to hold the first meeting of trade negotiations with Japan in March as soon as possible, the Japanese Government decided on February 28 to propose that the meeting be held in the United States after April. The agenda will be formally coordinated in the future. The US side is vigilant that withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) will lead to unfavourable competitive conditions for Japanese exports and stagnation of exports. Despite the gesture of focusing on the farm and livestock industry, if the negotiations are prolonged or lead to increased dissatisfaction.
According to Kyodo News Agency of Japan on March 1, U.S. Trade Representative Letterheiser stressed the principle of starting negotiations as soon as possible at the House hearing, saying that "due to the entry into force of TPP and Japan-Europe Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the urgency of negotiations with Japan is very high".
The topic of the first meeting may be to define the scope of the consultation. In contrast to Japan's desire to limit tariffs on agricultural and industrial products, the United States also has a positive attitude towards rules and trade in services, and there are divergent positions between the two sides. Japan believes that the first meeting "takes about a week" (source language for negotiations).
There are also voices in American industry groups that demand that sales and employment be settled as soon as possible if an agreement cannot be signed (tariff reduction) is not reached. There are also opinions that the agreement should be separated from the agricultural sector and negotiated first.
As the head of the Japanese government, the economic regeneration role of Mitsuki Xiangmao, taking into account the Congressional response and other factors, conveyed to the United States the intention that it would be difficult to have sufficient time in March. On the other hand, Japanese government officials said that "there is no objection to starting negotiations as soon as possible".