Japan has rejected a strong U.S. request to hold bilateral trade talks to rectify the trade imbalance between the two countries, sources said.

With the goal of reducing the U.S. trade deficit with Japan, Washington last week asked Tokyo to put bilateral trade talks on the agenda of the Japan-U.S. economic dialogue scheduled to start on April 18, sources of both governments said.

The U.S. officials did not mention which sectors would be subject to the trade talks, but a U.S. government source said cars and agriculture would be the main topics if bilateral negotiations start.

However, a Japanese government official said, “Japan has no intention of holding bilateral talks with the United States to conclude a trade agreement.”

In the first meeting of the economic dialogue, Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence are expected to discuss the agenda of the dialogue.

There is a possibility that Japan will eventually agree to hold bilateral trade talks under strong U.S. pressure, the sources said.