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Japan adds to free-trade trophy chest with speedy US deal

China and South Korea remain holes in Tokyo's expanding tariff-free map

TOKYO -- Japanese consumers will be able to buy American tenderloin steaks at a slightly cheaper price next year thanks to a new trade deal with the U.S. ratified by parliament on Wednesday.

Cheaper U.S. beef is just one benefit Japanese people will enjoy as their government embraces free trade. With the latest trade pact with Washington, the share of Japan's trade covered by such agreements will rise to more than half of the total for the first time.

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