A US Threat Forces Japan To Open Cellular Market

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AFTER weeks of mounting confrontation over trade, the United States and Japan announced an agreement Saturday that will provide American manufacturers broader access to Japan's cellular telephone market.

Trade experts see the agreement, which will allow Motorola Inc. to expand the sale of its technology in Japan, as a sign that Tokyo is easing opposition to specific trade commitments. President Clinton called the development a ``big win for everyone.''

Last month the Clinton administration threatened to impose sanctions on imports of some Japanese products if Japan did not open its cellular telephone market by this Thursday. Motorola, for nearly a decade, has sought to expand its business in Japan, but three previous agreements with the Japanese failed to produce results.

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It was unclear how far the accord would go toward defusing tensions surrounding broader US efforts to narrow a record $59.3 billion trade imbalance with Japan. Talks on the broader issues broke off last month after Japan rejected Mr. Clinton's demands that any agreements be ``results-oriented.''

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