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Japan's Aso holds out hope for US return to TPP

Deputy prime minister ready to play hardball on bilateral trade deal

TOKYO -- Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso remains confident that the U.S. still might rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and he suggested that Tokyo would make any bilateral agreement a far worse deal than Washington could get with the broader trade pact.

Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso

An 11-member TPP excluding the U.S. could be implemented quickly, Aso told The Nikkei on Thursday. "Since we went to the trouble of spending three years" negotiating the trade partnership, it should get ratified, he said, adding that there is no possibility of renegotiation.

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