• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Tuesday he and Mexican President Vicente Fox have agreed to resume talks on the stalled bilateral free-trade agreement as soon as possible.

Koizumi said he spoke briefly with Fox on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit and told him Tokyo is willing to move ahead with talks prior to the Nov. 9 general election in Japan.

“Japan is ready to resume negotiations any time,” he said. “We agreed to move ahead with the talks.”

The two nations failed to achieve a breakthrough in FTA talks when Fox was in Japan last week.

“We could not reach a final agreement even though there was a small way to go, and it was unfortunate,” Koizumi said. “But it is also a fact that there was progress as a whole.”

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