JAPAN AND THE USA HAVE signed a new bilateral air-cargo accord, with little reference to solving the more fundamental problem of passenger services between the two countries.

US transportation secretary Federico Pena and his Japanese counterpart Yoshiyuki Kamei had been expected to seal the cargo deal in Washington, after reaching a basic agreement in Tokyo in March (Flight International, 3-9 April).

In the event, the deal was signed in the respective capitals and the two failed to meet because of the agreement being quickly overshadowed by a fresh row over passenger flights to Hawaii.

"If Pena and Kamei had met, the logical question would have been to ask where do we go from here," says a Japanese airline source. "There is no indication of an answer," the source adds.

Source: Flight International