An open-skies agreement being negotiated this week by the U.S. and Japan likely won't go into effect until the fall, officials say, because Japan will predicate the deal on Transportation Department approval of antitrust waivers for trans-Pacific alliances. Both of Japan's major carriers, Japan Air Lines and All Nippon Airways, are seeking to coordinate with their U.S. partners on routes, fares and other matters. If the Transportation Department refuses to grant antitrust immunity, Japan would have the option of invalidating the open-skies accord.

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