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U.S., JAPANESE CLEAR MAJOR TRADE HURDLES

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The United States and Japan announced on Saturday a breakthrough on long-stalled trade issues after all-night talks, lending a dramatic postscript to a seven-nation summit aimed at reviving the world economy and aiding newly democratic Russia.

Clinton administration officials said the agreement would provide a framework for future trade talks designed to reduce Japan's nearly $50 billion annual trade surplus with the United States."These trading disputes have been corrosive," said President Clinton, accompanied by Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa at a Saturday night news conference. "It is essential that we put this relationship on a basis of mutual respect and mutual responsibility," Clinton said.

The president also held a post-summit meeting with Russia's President Boris Yeltsin on Saturday and afterward acknowledged differences. But Clinton hailed the overall state of the relationship, saying "I think we have forged a remarkable partnership."

Yeltsin renewed a call for the dismantling of Cold War trade barriers he said unfairly discriminate against Russia. Clinton said he would continue to work with Congress on that. And he also said that he and Yeltsin had agreed to push ahead "intensely and immediately" with discussions surrounding their differences over Russian sales of military technology to Libya and India.

The reported agreement on the U.S.-Japanese trade framework came on the morning after Clinton, Miyazawa and other world leaders wrapped up their annual talks on global economic issues.

"There was more energy and more zip in it than I thought there would be," Clinton said of the annual meeting, his first overseas journey as president.

The summit partners acknowledged the reality of economic doldrums around the globe.

Beyond vague promises for better coordination, the leaders of the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Canada and Italy committed themselves to no specific actions.

For the fourth year in a row, they vowed to wrap up by year's end the current round of world trade talks. Officials insisted this year's target was realistic because of negotiating progress this week in Tokyo.

The trade talks between the United States and Japan proceeded separately, and Clinton administration officials said the overnight agreement was designed to reduce Japan's nearly $50 billion annual trade surplus.

They described the agreement as a broad set of principles that would govern future trade negotiations but provided no details pending an expected announcement by Clinton and Miyazawa.

The two men dined on sushi Friday night, then left their aides to work through the night on the trade issues that have divided the two nations for years.

Clinton had earlier failed to persuade Japan and Germany, then world's other two economic superpowers, to adopt more stimulative polices - more government spending in Japan and faster interest rate cuts in Germany.

Still, he pronounced the summit talks "extremely successful."

"We have a long way to go to restore growth to the world economy," he said. But he also concluded, "This summit produced real substantive benefits for the people who sent these leaders here.

His partners agreed, more or less.

"To be frank, the results are better than I expected," said British Prime Minister John Major.

Italian Premier Carlo Ciampi said "The summit has given a message of confidence." But he added: "You cannot expect that these summits resolve the world's problems."

Clinton prepared to fly to South Korea after the final meeting with Yeltsin, who had reason to be satisfied. The summit partners, under U.S. pressure, promised $3 billion to help Russia transfer large state-owned industries to private hands and praised Yeltsin for the progress he reported in political and market reforms.

The Russian president said the West should move more quickly to lift trade barriers left over from the Cold War. Clinton said Saturday the United States was already doing so.