• Kyodo

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Farm minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Tuesday that protecting the country’s sensitive agricultural products in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade negotiations will serve the national interests, indicating their protection is more important than reaching a deal by the target date.

The 11-day-long 18th round of the talks began Monday in Malaysia. Japan is unable to join until July 23, when the United States completes its domestic procedures to include Japan as the 12th member.

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