Tokyo (AFP)

Japan and the United States reached a broad consensus in their trade talks, the Japanese press confirmed on Sunday as leaders of both countries meet on the sidelines of the G7 summit.

Donald Trump said Sunday that the United States was "very close" to conclude a "major" trade agreement with Japan.

Tokyo and Washington had agreed in late June to move up a gear in their discussions, supposed to reduce the trade imbalance, regularly denounced by US President Donald Trump.

"We have made great progress," Japanese trade negotiator Toshimitsu Motegi said Saturday after three days of bilateral talks with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

"This progress will be confirmed at the Japan-United States summit" held on the sidelines of the G7 currently being held in Biarritz, Motegi told the press in Washington.

Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have good relations. But the US president has repeatedly blasted "the huge bilateral trade imbalance" for the benefit of Japan, and called for "fairer" relations.

Toshimitsu Motegi and Robert Lighthizer agreed on a cut in Tokyo's tariffs on US beef and pork, according to Japanese state television NHK and several national dailies.

For their part, the United States will cancel their tariffs on a large number of industrial products from Japan, but those on Japanese cars will be maintained for the moment and will be the subject of further discussions, according to NHK.

It would be a relative disappointment for Tokyo, which wants absolutely avoid the imposition of taxes by Washington on imported Japanese cars.

The two countries hope to reach a final agreement by the end of September, the Japanese press said.

© 2019 AFP