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Japan-U.S. Aviation Talks, Agreements at Next Meeting in December - Continued Discussion on Tokyo-Area Airport Arrival & Departure Slots and Open Skies

Japan-U.S. Aviation Talks, Agreements at Next Meeting in December - Continued Discussion on Tokyo-Area Airport Arrival & Departure Slots and Open Skies

The current and new control towers at Tokyo's Haneda Airport.

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Bilateral aviation talks were held between Japan and the United States from October 26 through 29 in Tokyo, with discussions on topics such as the transport capacity of Tokyo-area airports and aviation liberalization between the two countries, though final agreements will be postponed until the next round of talks.

Since last year, the aviation agencies of both countries have continued talks on assigning new international arrival and departure slots at Haneda Airport, which is expanding and internationalizing in 2010, and at Narita Airport, where the extension of Runway B has been completed, as well as on further liberalization of the U.S.-Japan aviation market, though as with the three previous meetings no agreements were reached this time.

During the talks, both sides basically expressed a desire to continue promoting the Open Skies aviation liberalization policy between the two countries. However, the Japanese side said it wanted to set slots for late night and early morning at Haneda, and for the American side to return pre-existing arrival and departure slots it possesses at Narita Airport.

Both countries at the talks hoped to reach an agreement soon, and confirmed that they will continue, with the next meeting taking place in Washington D.C. in early December.

In the 2009 winter schedule between Japan and the U.S., 14 airline companies from the two countries will operate a weekly total of 346.5 flights (a total of commercial and cargo flights that excludes “fly beyond rights” flights and codeshare flights). Total annual passengers are 10.2 million, the most to any country with international routes from Japan (as of fiscal 2008, including the U.S. mainland, Hawaii, Guam and Saipan).

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