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US tells Japan it wants to start FTA talks

'Strong interest' indicated for first time, Pence, Aso also discuss North Korea

Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, left, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (Pool via Kyodo)

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. has for the first time told Japan it has a "strong interest" in starting talks over a potential free trade agreement between the two countries.

A Japanese government official said that the U.S. side had touched upon the issue of an FTA during the second round of economic dialogue between U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Japan's Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso on Monday.

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