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Talks kick off on 'TPP 11' pact minus US

New top dog Japan aims to keep deal's terms intact

TORONTO -- Remaining signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership launched their first full-fledged negotiations Tuesday afternoon on a so-called TPP 11 trade pact without American participation as new senior partner Japan hoped for an agreement this year.

America was the largest TPP economy but had not ratified the pact before President Donald Trump moved to withdraw after taking office in January. The torch thus passed to Japan, whose proposal has drawn varying levels of enthusiasm from the 10 other countries.

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