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Business trends

Japan leaves billions on table as paperwork clogs free trade deals

Only half of eligible companies enjoying fruits of 17 trade agreements

Many Japanese companies count on exports for growth as their home market stagnates.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- When a Japanese soy sauce maker in the northwestern Hokuriku region started to sell its premium sauce in Switzerland this January, the company was eager to make use of the Economic Partnership Agreement that exists between the two countries.

Low tariffs would make business viable, management thought.

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