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The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry launched a task force Friday to deal comprehensively with talks for a free-trade agreement, METI head Shoichi Nakagawa said.

The task force, headed by Nakagawa, was established to form strategies on which nations Japan should seek an FTA with and to coordinate policy within the ministry, Nakagawa told a news conference.

“We set up the task force so that we will be able to conduct negotiations with more than one nation simultaneously,” Nakagawa said.

Earlier this month in Tokyo, Japan and Mexico failed to reach an FTA due to differences over farm trade, a politically sensitive issue in Japan. But the two countries have pledged to resume negotiations at an early date.

Japan and South Korea also agreed Monday to begin formal negotiations on an FTA.

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