Japan offers to limit VTRs sent to Europe

In a compromise to a European Common Market request, Japan offered to limit its exports of videotape recorders (VTRs) to Western Europe to 4.5 million units this year, government sources said Jan. 14. Japanese officials made the proposal the day before at the opening of the three-session negotiations at the Foreign Ministry.

The Japanese offer was in response to a request by the European countries to set the ceiling at 4 million units this year, the sources said.

VTRs are on the list of 10 export items which the Common Market wants Japan to cut back. Other products are automobiles, television sets and screens, numerically controlled machine tools, light commercial vehicles, motorcycles, hi-fi sets, and quartz watches.

Japan's VTR production accounts for more than 90 percent of the world's total output. Its exports to the Common Market amounted to 4.75 million units in 1982, compared with 2.8 million units in 1981, according to industry sources. Europe's trade deficit with Japan was $10.3 billion in 1981. The figures for 1982 are expected to be about the same.

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