INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS

INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS

SOVIET LAWMAKERS PASS

PRIVATE PROPERTY BILLThe Soviet parliament Tuesday overwhelmingly approved legislation that will allow people to own factories and hire workers for the first time in nearly 70 years.

After a long and heated debate, the law on property was approved by the Supreme Soviet, the country's standing parliament, by a vote of 350-3 with 11 abstentions.

It covers a broad range of property rights, including the right to own factories, but bars any exploitation of workers.

MITSUBISHI, DAIMLER

AGREE TO COOPERATE

TOKYO - Mitsubishi Corp. said Tuesday that it and three other firms in the Mitsubishi group have agreed with Daimler-Benz AG of West Germany on wide- ranging cooperation in the auto, aerospace, electronics and service sectors.

The accord, which came at a meeting of executives of the two groups in Singapore last weekend, does not cover defense-related areas in light of Japan's ban on exports of arms and related technology, Mitsubishi officials said.

The three other Japanese firms involved are Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and Mitsubishi Motor Corp.

JAPAN MAY STREAMLINE

RETAIL STORES LAW

TOKYO - Japanese International Trade and Industry Minister Kabun Muto said Tuesday Japan may eventually consider drastic measures to streamline its retailing system, which has been criticized by the United States as a barrier to trade.

A MITI official said Mr. Muto, speaking at a news conference after a cabinet meeting, said MITI will strictly enforce the existing Large-Scale Retail Law for three years. But if that does not improve matters, drastic steps could be taken to revamp the Japanese distribution system.

The law requires large stores to gain the approval of all small shops in an area before it can begin operations there. It also imposes a long waiting period, as long as 10 years in some cases, before stores can actually be established.