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Japan and Canada will begin negotiations in the near future on striking a bilateral antitrust cooperation agreement, the Fair Trade Commission and the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

The envisaged pact is to follow similar accords with the United States, concluded in October 1999, and the European Union, tentatively reached earlier this month, the government agencies said.

The agreements are intended to strengthen cooperation among the fair trade watchdogs of member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to crack down on increasing cross-border anticompetitive activities.

Upon adopting recommendations for cooperation to prevent hard-core cartels, OECD members, including the U.S., the EU and Canada, are proceeding with similar bilateral accords, the Japanese agencies said.

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