The US and Japan have agreed an initial trade deal that will eliminate or lower tariffs on certain products traded between them.
Duties on some agricultural goods will be removed or lowered, while digital products will also benefit.
US President Donald Trump said the world’s first and third largest economies achieved a “tremendous” deal
The US, which had a trade deficit with Japan of $67.6 billion in 2018, has held discussions with Japan throughout the year.
Under the deal, over 90% of US food and agricultural products going into Japan will either be free of any duty or receive preferential tariff access, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
Japan will reduce tariffs on products such as fresh and frozen beef and pork, and will immediately eliminate them for certain nuts, fruits and vegetables.
In return, the US will either remove or lower duties on some $40 million of agricultural imports from Japan, including cut flowers, green tea and soy sauce.
According a transcript published by the White House., Mr Abe said there would be a “very wonderful, positive impact on the global economy”.
The US and Japan have also agreed on preferential treatment for certain digital products.
They will prohibit any duties being imposed on digital products such as videos, music and e-books and will ensure data can be freely transferred across borders.
The US said it looked forward to negotiating a “comprehensive agreement” with Japan, according to the USTR statement.
How about the controversial car tariffs?
The US had been considering levies on some foreign-made car and car part imports, including from Japan and the European Union, but delayed the decision earlier this year.
The new deal did not cover car duties- but Mr Abe said he had been reassured by Mr Trump that the US would not impose tariffs on Japanese cars.
“Between President Trump and I, myself, this has been firmly confirmed that no further, additional tariffs will imposed,” Reuters quoted him as saying.
The US has been fighting trade disputes on several fronts over the past year.
Qantas will run test services of its planned 19-hour flights to determine whether passengers and crew can withstand the marathon journeys.
The airline wants to operate non-stop services from Sydney to London and New York by as soon as 2022.
If launched, the services would be the world’s longest direct flights.
The trial flights will begin later this year, each carrying up to 40 passengers who will have their health monitored on the journey.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said direct flights from the east coast of Australia to London and New York represented the “final frontier in aviation”.
“Ultra-long haul flying presents a lot of common sense questions about the comfort and wellbeing of passengers and crew”, Mr Joyce said in a statement.
The airline said non-stop flights from New York and London to Sydney would take about 19 hours each, subject to wind and weather conditions.
It will conduct three test flights and participants – made up of crew and Qantas employees – will be fitted with wearable technology devices.
Sleep patterns, along with food and beverage consumption, will be tracked to determine the impact on health and the body clock.
The flights will run on Boeing 787-9s. The airline said it would make a decision on whether to start the flights by the end of the year.
Competition in the ultra-long haul aviation market has intensified in recent years, with various airlines flying extended routes.
Singapore Airlines launched a near-19 hour journey from Singapore to New York last year, which is currently the world’s longest commercial flight.