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EU eager for speedy trade deal with Japan

Brussels sees economic, ideological benefits from free-trade expansion

TOKYO -- The European Union hopes to finalize an economic partnership agreement with Japan soon, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem told reporters Monday, stressing that the deal will help shape globalization "in line with European values."

Though an agreement between the two sides has been postponed twice in the past, Brussels seems just as keen as Tokyo to strike a deal this time around. With protectionism on the rise worldwide, manifesting in the U.K.'s decision to exit the EU and Donald Trump's rise to the U.S. presidency, the EU seeks to highlight its support for free trade.

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