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International relations

Japan drafts Thailand to sell Trump on TPP

Tokyo hopes new Southeast Asia members make trade pact impossible to shun

Japanese economic minister Toshimitsu Motegi, right, will visit Thailand to help the country join the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, giving Tokyo another ally as the U.S. demands a bilateral trade deal.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Japan's point man on the Trans-Pacific Partnership will visit Thailand in early May as the Southeast Asian nation looks to join the sweeping trade pact, with Tokyo hoping that fresh entrants will help bring the U.S. back on board.

The Thai government said in March that it wants to become a TPP member. Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan's economic and fiscal policy minister, aims to create momentum for Bangkok's entry by meeting with Thai officials including Somkid Jatusripitak, the deputy prime minister in charge of economic issues.

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