• Kyodo

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Japan and Myanmar will launch preliminary talks next week aimed at signing a bilateral investment accord, officials in Tokyo said Wednesday.

The meeting Tuesday in Myanmar’s capital of Naypyitaw between senior officials is intended to sort out major issues before they enter official negotiations, the officials said.

Such an accord would help liberalize and improve protection of investment and create an easier environment for Japanese companies to do business in Myanmar, which has undertaken broad democratic reforms after decades of military rule.

Japan is hoping to enter official negotiations on the accord this spring and submit a bill necessary for its enactment to the Diet early next year, a Foreign Ministry official said.

The two countries agreed to begin negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty in late December when Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba visited Myanmar, the first visit by a Japanese foreign minister since 2002.

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