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Tetsuro Yano, senior vice foreign minister, said Thursday he has proposed that Japan and Brunei start looking into the possibility of a free-trade agreement.

Yano made the proposal in a Jan. 14 meeting with Dato Haji Abdul Rahman Taib, Brunei’s minister of industry and primary resources, during a visit to that country, according to a ministry official.

Yano said his proposal was received favorably and the two countries are expected to start considering when to set up a working team to discuss an FTA.

Japan has signed an FTA with Singapore, and is considering more with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Mexico and South Korea. Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia have also expressed a willingness to look into reaching FTAs with Japan.

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