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Published: Thursday April 24, 2014 MYT 3:35:55 PM
Updated: Thursday April 24, 2014 MYT 3:36:58 PM

Japan, US focusing on trade statement, final deal elusive - official

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese and U.S. cabinet members are trying to hammer out a joint statement on trade but are not likely to reach a bilateral deal in the course of talks on Thursday, a Japanese official said.

"There are too many issues remaining to wrap them up even if we worked through the night," the official said, just hours after President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered their trade negotiators to seek a deal, considered key for reaching an Asia-Pacific trade pact.

Economy Minister Akira Amari and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman are focusing their efforts on crafting a joint statement, the official said on condition of anonymity. The ministers aim to finish their talks by about 5 p.m. (9 a.m. British Time), he said.

(Reporting by Antoni Slodkowski; Writing by William Mallard; Editing by Dominic Lau)

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