Tokyo Answers the Call

Facing U.S. sanctions, Japan opens its mobile-phone market

The dispute was kindled by just one U.S. company's frustration with a protected market niche in Japan, but the issue nearly triggered a major trade confrontation between the two countries. Last week Japan defused the standoff by agreeing to remove barriers to foreign products in the lucrative Tokyo-area market for mobile-telephone and two-way-radio services. Said U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills, who negotiated the pact: "The measures should provide immediate improvements for U.S. companies in these two high-growth segments of the Japanese telecommunications market."

The dispute began in earnest when Illinois-based Motorola complained to the U.S. Government last April that Japan was...

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