Uno's Surprise

Uncertainty about auto imports

Was it an opening negotiating ploy? Soothing words intended for domestic consumption? Or the final word on the politically sensitive subject of Japan's self-imposed lid on U.S. auto imports of 1.76 million vehicles annually? Japan's unilateral promise, which is now in its third year, expires at the end of March 1984. Japan agreed to the restriction only under pressure; now that car sales for Detroit are picking up (12.6% ahead of a year ago), it was expected to resist another extension of the agreement. At a Tokyo breakfast meeting...

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