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UK seeks swift Japan trade deal and TPP membership

Trade secretary Truss aims to deepen ties with 'like-minded partners' in Asia

British International Trade Secretary Elizabeth Truss speaks with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Tuesday, the opening day of FTA negotiations between the two countries. (Photo courtesy of the U.K.'s Department for International Trade)

LONDON -- The U.K. is looking to accelerate trade deals with countries and blocs across Asia, as the country's transition period for departure from the European Union is set to expire at the end of the year.

International Trade Secretary Elizabeth Truss told the Nikkei Asian Review in an interview on Tuesday -- the day Britain began free trade agreement negotiations with Japan -- that relations with Tokyo are "absolutely critical" and that "it absolutely is possible" to conclude a deal this year.

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