In January, the governments of Japan and the United States reached a temporary truce in what was building up to be the most serious trade dispute since before the Second World War. Special U.S. trade negotiator Robert S. Strauss called the agreement a "farther - reaching result than we had anticipated." The Japanese agreed to significant concessions demanded by the U.S., among them advance tariff reductions on $2 billion of imports, removal of a number of quota controls and steep increases in U.S. sales to Japan of high quality beef and citrus products. The Japanese agreed to work toward reducing their nation's huge trade surplus in 1978 through boosting domestic demand as well as by trying to bring Japan's external trade account into rough balance by fiscal 1979. The agreement reached in Tokyo on January 13 - if its provisions can be attained - will have gone a long way toward reducing immediate U.S.-Japanese frictions which had already entered the realm of acrimonious accusations.
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