Japan, Australia seek EPA next month

JIJI

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop have agreed that the two countries should speedily proceed with talks to conclude a bilateral economic partnership agreement.

At a meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday, the ministers agreed to try to sign the pact during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Australia in July. With that timetable, the EPA could take force early next year after parliamentary approval, people familiar with the matter said.

Also, Kishida and Bishop affirmed that Japan and Australia will vigorously tackle trade issues to help resolve the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations at an early date.