• Kyodo, JIJI

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe left Sunday for a three-day visit to Thailand to attend a series of summits related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with an aim of making progress in negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership free trade pact.

The 16 Asian and Oceanian countries involved in that regionwide trade deal, who had hoped to strike an agreement by yearend, however, have already decided to delay the conclusion of that deal until next year.

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