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International relations

Japan cabinet approves world's biggest trade pact with EU

Swift ratification targeted for February to give Tokyo upper hand in talks with US

Wine from the European Union will become cheaper for Japanese consumers once the economic partnership agreement kicks in.

TOKYO -- Japan's cabinet on Tuesday approved legislation that would ratify a free trade agreement with the European Union, aiming to bring the pact into force Feb. 1.

The sprawling agreement would create a bloc covering about 30% of global gross domestic product and roughly 40% of world trade. The combined GDP of Japan and the EU is almost the same as that of the bloc formed by the trade deal between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, making the Japan-EU FTA one of the largest in the world, according to Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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