JAPAN MOVES TO SETTLE FARM PRICE DISPUTES

JAPAN MOVES TO SETTLE FARM PRICE DISPUTES

Agriculture Minister Takashi Sato said Tuesday the government plans to take proper measures to settle disputes with Japan's trade partners over support prices and import barriers affecting beef, pork and milk.

The ministry, which sets the support prices of these products, is expected to present proposals to cut the support prices of beef by between 5 percent and 10 percent this year from 1987 and those of milk for processing into dairy products by 8 percent to 10 percent.Support prices have been cut the past two years.

In the meantime, Tsutomu Hata, head of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party's farm panel, and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Vice Minister Yasuo Goto will hold separate talks with officials and congressional leaders in Washington during the week of March 26 on Japan's agricultural imports.

The present four-year accord is due to expire March 31.

The Japanese government had said earlier it tentatively plans to permit the import of 100,000 tons of U.S. beef in April through September. That is 9,000 tons more than the same period last year.

Import quotas for oranges and orange juice for the same period were set

tentatively at 91,000 and 8,500 tons, respectively, unchanged from last year.

Japanese officials face an uphill battle in the weeks ahead. In Sydney, Australia, Primary Industries Minister John Kerin said Tuesday he will visit Japan next week to present Australia's case for the opening of Japan's beef import system.

Mr. Kerin said Australian officials in Tokyo will resume talks Thursday and Friday with Japanese officials on beef imports, but he said the outcome of the negotiations remains uncertain.