• Kyodo


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos are planning to hold talks on the sidelines of regional gatherings in Peru this weekend, a Japanese government source said Monday.

The two are expected to aim for a breakthrough in negotiations toward a Japan-Colombia economic partnership agreement, which have stalled on issues of market liberalization for agricultural products.

Negotiations on the pact formally began in December 2012, with Japan requesting that Colombia eliminate its tariffs on automobile imports. Colombia, in turn, has asked for Japan to open its markets to agricultural products including beef, pork and sugar.

Colombia has free trade agreements with the United States, Canada and South Korea.

According to the Foreign Ministry, trade between Japan and Colombia totaled around ¥117 billion each way in 2015, with Japan mainly exporting motor vehicles, rubber products and steel products and importing coffee and cut flowers.

Santos was awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for efforts to end a decades-long civil war between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

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