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Japan, chair of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) commission, the highest decision-making body of the framework, is expected to have difficulty in handling the applications of China and Taiwan to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Thursday that Japan “welcomes” Taiwan’s formal application, which came to light the previous day. But due to differences in how the CPTPP member economies view the two applications, Taiwan’s bid is believed certain to provoke a backlash from China — which filed its own application for CPTPP membership on Sept. 16 and regards the self-ruled island as a renegade province.

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