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Japan, EU to harmonize vehicle safety standards

TOKYO -- Japan, the European Union, Australia and other economies will adopt common benchmarks for automobile safety as early as the spring of next year, a move likely to free up international trade in new cars by shortening inspections.

     A broad agreement covering 40 of roughly 60 points on safety inspection checklists is expected to be reached at a meeting of the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations in Geneva next month.

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