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JAPAN INDUSTRY GROUP ASKS AMERICAN WORKERS TO OPPOSE U.S. IN TRADE TALKS

 DETROIT, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- In a provocative move that appears to mark a first in Japanese lobbying efforts, a Tokyo-based industry group is trying to enlist American factory workers to help overturn U.S. trade policy toward Japan. Automotive News reports in its Jan. 17 edition that the Japan Auto Parts Industries Association has called on the managers of Japanese components plants in the United States to help their workers lobby against the U.S. position in so-called "framework talks" that began in September. Washington is pushing Japan to adopt firm numerical targets for reducing its huge trade surpluses with the United States. Autos and auto parts accounted for about $30 billion of last year's imbalance.
 Citing documents obtained in Japan, Automotive News reports that the Japanese trade group has set up a toll-free "Free Trade Hotline" in the United States meant to "generate the maximum number of calls ... to members of Congress to stress the importance of keeping fair trade with Japan."
 The toll-free line is backed by a sophisticated package of sample letters, telegrams and phone scripts; phone banks at plants; lists of "talking points;" instructions on how to organize meetings with members of Congress (complete with a draft thank-you note for afterward); and suggestions for ways to sway local media with op-ed pieces and letters to the editor.
 Although lobbying by Japanese interests in the United States is both commonplace and legal, the parts association's campaign is believed to be the first in which an industry has tried to enlist its American workers en masse to get out and stump for Japan's position.
 According to the association, 140 Japanese parts suppliers in the United States employ about 150,000 workers.
 TOYOTA TO INCREASE PRODUCTION
 Separately, the weekly trade publication reports that Toyota Motor Corp. (NASDAQ: TOYO) will increase its North American production by about 16.5 percent over projected 1994 levels to about 775,000 cars and trucks in 1995 and 1996.
 Citing a confidential internal production schedule that the automaker provides its suppliers, Automotive News reports that the 1996 output level reports a slight pullback from an earlier forecast.
 According to the Toyota documents, light pickup output will be slightly reduced at its joint-venture plant in California; while Corolla production rises in both Canada and California.
 Camry output at Georgetown, Ky., is expected to decline, the publication said, citing the documents.
 Automotive News is published each Monday in Detroit by Crain Communications Inc., a privately held company that publishes 25 consumer, business and trade publications.
 -0- 1/17/94
 /CONTACT: James R. Crate, international editor of Automotive News, 313-446-1601/
 (TOYO) CO: Toyota Motor Corp.; Automotive News; Crain Communications, Inc. ST: Michigan, California IN: AUT SU:


KT -- DEMO02 -- 2333 01/17/94 06:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 17, 1994
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