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By remaining a champion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal after the withdrawal of the United States, Japan is hoping that Washington will soften its demands in future bilateral trade negotiations.

Japan has lobbied hard in recent days on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang to reach a ministerial agreement on “core elements” of a new trade pact to be implemented without Washington, as differences among the 11 remaining members have proved surmountable.

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