Eased limits on U.S. sales abroad of high-performance computers, previewed by President Clinton in early October, went into effect January 22. The White House had hoped to have the new rules in place sooner, but its plan was thwarted by the two partial government shutdowns and an interagency clearance process that apparently proved unexpectedly contentious. Ironically, the one complication foreseen at the time foot-dragging by Japan on updating a bilateral arrangement that ensures comparable regulatory treatment for exports of powerful computers (see JEI Report No. 39B, October 20, 1995) did not materialize. In a little-noticed agreement Tokyo signed off November 30 on Washington's decision to decontrol machines performing fewer than 2,000 million theoretical operations per second; the previous threshold, dating to December 1993, was 1,500 MTOPS.