TOKYO (TR) – The prime ministers of Japan and Canada announced Sunday they have formally agreed to launch free trade talks after meeting in Tokyo, Agence France-Presse reported.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also agreed on a security cooperation agreement, AFP said, citing officials. When the free trade pact is concluded, it will be the first such agreement between Japan and one of the Group of Eight countries, according to the news agency.
Canada, which is Japan’s 18th largest trading partner, hopes to open up the Asian nation’s market to its agricultural products while Japan, Canada’s fifth largest trading partner, will seek an end to the 6.1-perecent import tax on its vehicle imports, AFP said. The two sides also discussed cooperation between their energy sectors.
The Canadian Prime Minister arrived in Japan on Saturday and will travel on to Seoul to attend the Nuclear Security Summit which begins Monday.