apan and the United States have launched their first round of trade discussions in Tokyo. The talks parallel negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact that include the 2 economic giants, plus 10 other countries. US officials strongly insisted on the bilateral talks when Japan joined TPP discussions in July. Chief negotiator Takeo Mori said Japanese officials hope for a fruitful exchange of ideas. Heading the US delegation, Wendy Cutler said US officials expect a lot from the talks. She said the 2 countries should deal with issues swiftly and in a constructive manner, according to Japan’s (NHK WORLD) website. US negotiators are expected to urge Japan to unify safety and environment standards for autos. This will make it easier for US automakers to export to Japan. The US will also push for deregulation in insurance and investment during the 3-day meeting. The talks will also address copyright and patent issues, and the wide range of non-tariff measures, including those on bidding for public projects. The outcome will affect the two countries’ bargaining positions in the TPP talks.