Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has launched a government office to mitigate potential adverse impacts from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in a bid to ease concerns among farmers and small business owners and help companies advance into overseas markets.

Abe convened a meeting of all 19 ministers at the prime minister’s office on Friday morning to declare the launch of the office, which is seen as a political gesture to appeal to rural supporters of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

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