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US-Japan Ship Deal Nearly Done

October 23, 1997

WASHINGTON (AP) _ U.S. and Japanese negotiators have agreed on all aspects of their shipping dispute except for $4 million in fines a U.S. agency says Japan’s three major shipping lines owe, a senior U.S. official said Thursday.

``The agreement is virtually complete,″ Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat told a House Ways and Means trade subcommittee.

The Federal Maritime Commission imposed the fines last week after the Japanese government refused to reform port practices. Japan’s failure to pay the fines triggered an commission order to block Japanese ships from American ports.

``Once that issue is resolved, we’ll be able to make some sort of announcement,″ Eizenstat said.

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