The United States will scrap auto tariffs gradually under an extended period under a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact, the Japanese government said in a statement after the two countries agreed on a deal that will allow Tokyo to take part in talks on the Asia-Pacific trade agreement.

The bilateral agreement brings Japan closer to entering TPP talks, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made part of a "third arrow" in his "Abenomics" policy, after fiscal spending and drastic monetary easing.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Writing by Linda Sieg; Editing by Robert Birsel)