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Heated debate raged late Wednesday as the Democratic Party of Japan discussed whether Japan should join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade accord talks, with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda trying to hammer out a decision before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit this weekend.

After weeks of intense internal debate, tempers flared at the DPJ’s final meeting that started earlier in the evening, as anti-TPP lawmakers made a last-ditch effort to stop Japan from joining the free-trade pact.

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