• Kyodo

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Chief negotiators from the 11 signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreed on Thursday to start accession talks with potential newcomers in 2019, when the free trade pact takes effect.

During a two-day meeting from Wednesday in the hot-spring resort of Hakone near Tokyo, the negotiators checked members’ progress toward completing domestic procedures to ratify the trade accord and discussed the future expansion of the TPP framework, which covers around 13 percent of the world’s economy.

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