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Japan and Canada to launch talks aimed at forging a bilateral free trade pact
TOKYO (AP) ' Japan and Canada have agreed to formally start talks aimed at forging a free trade agreement between the two countries.
If established, the pact would be Japan's first with a country from the Group of Eight major economies.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his Canadian counterpart, Stephen Harper, agreed Sunday to boost energy cooperation through a trade pact. The two leaders said they're also seeking ways to promote bilateral trade and investment.
Japan and Canada also seek to join the U.S.-led trans-Pacific multilateral trade pact known as TPP. Japan's highly protected farm sector is seen as a main obstacle.
Japan's main exports to Canada are cars, machinery and other industrial products. Its chief imports from Canada are natural resources and agricultural products including soybeans and pork.