Economic dialogue with Mercosur set

Kyodo

Japan will hold its first dialogue with Mercosur in Brazil next week in a bid to boost economic ties with the five-nation South American trade bloc, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.

The dialogue, to be held Thursday, was proposed in June 2011 by then-Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto in hopes of exploring the possibility of setting up a free-trade agreement with Mercosur.

The Japanese delegation will be headed by Akira Yamada of the ministry’s Latin American and Caribbean Affairs Bureau, and include members of the Foreign, agriculture and trade ministries as well.

Mercosur consists of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.