American negotiators have previously insisted that the talks should cover targets for US vehicle sales in Japan. The sector has proved a particularly sensitive area of trade negotiations, accounting for three-fifths of the $60bn American trade deficit with Japan.
Japan and the US are to resume trade talks on cars later this month. Ryutaro Hashimoto, Japan's international trade and industry minister, said he would oppose numerical targets for imports of US cars and parts into Japan. He warned that the Ameri cans must abide by international trade rules.