• Kyodo

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The trade ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum agreed Sunday to promote free-trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region just a day after Japan won permission to negotiate a free-trade pact involving many of its members.

“We reaffirmed the importance of APEC’s meaningful contribution . . . guiding the process of FTA/RTA (regional trade agreement) development in the Asia-Pacific region,” the ministers said in a joint statement released at the end of their two-day meeting in Indonesia’s Surabaya.

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