[TOKYO] Japan's deputy chief trade negotiator Hiroshi Oe said on Friday the latest round of two-way trade talks among officials with the United States was finished and the remaining issues will be carried over to a ministerial meeting at the end of this month.
He made comment after bilateral trade talks with his counterpart Wendy Cutler, acting deputy US trade representative, started on Thursday.
Mr Oe, speaking to reporters, said the two nations will remain in contact and he may hold unofficial talks with Cutler on Saturday.
Japan and the United States have been negotiating to narrow gaps over issues in the agricultural and auto sectors and the two-way trade deal plays a crucial part of a broad Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact.
Ministers from the 12-nation TPP negotiations will meet July 28-31 in Maui, Hawaii, after chief negotiators meet July 24-27.