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Monday, 8th November 2010
In General Japan News,

Japan to join free-trade talks

Japan has confirmed that it will participate in talks with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

A cabinet committee has agreed to the discussions that will aim to encourage greater free trade and investment in the region.

In addition, Japan is set to look at ways of increasing competition within the farming industry, examine non-tariff barriers and set standards for foreign nurses and care professionals.

A statement from the cabinet explained: "Japan will begin consultations with TPP member nations while moving expeditiously to improve its domestic environment. It is necessary to act by gathering further information."

Prime minister Naoto Kan, who is set to chair the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit next week, explained that there is a fear Japan could be "left behind" while other nations form free-trade zones.

The Asia-Pacific summit begins on November 13th in Yokohama, Japan and is the 18th APEC Economic Leaders' meeting.

Written by Susan Ballion.