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International relations

Japan presses UK on speedy trade talks for end-of-year deal

Post-Brexit pact to include digital rules and remove auto tariffs

Japan looks to negotiate a trade deal by the end of July.

TOKYO/LONDON -- Japan and the U.K. have kicked off negotiations to strike a trade deal in near record time, with Tokyo setting a goal of finalizing an agreement within weeks to minimize disruptions when the transition period for Brexit concludes at the end of the year.

The countries currently enjoy preferential tariffs and other trade perks under Japan's economic agreement with the European Union. But the pact stops applying to the U.K. once the Brexit transition ends, so the countries aim to enact a similar trade deal on Jan. 1. This would require them to complete talks that normally take years before Japan's fall parliamentary session ends.

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