Soothing Talks, Troubled Times

Trying to defuse trade tensions

When President Reagan imposed trade sanctions against Japan last month, the prospect was raised of an all-out economic war between the two nations. Last week, with the $300 million worth of sanctions in place, Japanese and American officials were scrambling to defuse tensions. As a prelude to Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone's visit to Washington this week, Special Envoy Shintaro Abe was dispatched to the White House to outline a plan to reduce Japan's $59 billion trade surplus with the U.S. Meanwhile, a U.S. delegation in Tokyo urged the Japanese to lower barriers to American goods.

Abe, a former Foreign Minister, asked...

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