• Kyodo


Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his Mexican counterpart agreed Thursday to cooperate to put the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement into force as soon as possible.

At a joint news conference with Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, Kono praised Mexico for becoming the first TPP member state to complete domestic procedures to ratify the pact.

Japan, Mexico and the other nine countries hope to see the deal — remodeled and renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership after the U.S. pulled out of the pact — take effect by the end of this year. The deal will enter into force when at least six member countries ratify it.

Videgaray said he believes Japan’s leadership is crucial for putting the free trade deal into force.

Tokyo is still working through domestic procedures concerning the pact.

Kono is on a weeklong trip through Saturday to Mexico, the United States, Brazil and Argentina.

The other members of the TPP are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

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