DUNKEL PLAN NOT SEEN AS FINAL, JAPAN CABINET OFFICIAL SAYS

DUNKEL PLAN NOT SEEN AS FINAL, JAPAN CABINET OFFICIAL SAYS

Koichi Kato, chief cabinet secretary, on Monday reconfirmed Japan's position that the Dunkel plan, intended to resolve the current GATT trade talks, is not in fact a final proposal, a local newspaper reported.

"Some countries seem to be prepared to accept the Dunkel proposal as a whole, so the situation doesn't seem too easy" for countries unwilling to accept the proposal, the evening edition of the Asahi Shimbun quoted Mr. Kato as saying at a press conference."It's a tough situation, but we plan to confront it with the recognition that the proposal is not a final one."

The Dunkel paper, presented in December by Arthur Dunkel, director- general of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, calls for the conversion of all non-tariff import barriers into tariffs. Japan opposes the plan on the grounds that it would eventually lead to the removal of Japan's virtual ban on rice imports.

Even if the governing Liberal-Democratic Party managed to muster an intra- party consensus for the change, the opposition parties, which control the Upper House of the legislature, would probably try to block the move.