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Japan and Panama on Wednesday agreed to start negotiations on a tax information exchange agreement to enhance transparency in the financial system. The move comes at a time of scrutiny over offshore tax avoidance by the rich and powerful following a leak of records from a prominent law firm.

“I would like to expect progress in our negotiations so that we can achieve transparency in our tax information,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said during a joint news conference with Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela.

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