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US eyes FTA with Japan as economic talks kick off

Tokyo is less keen amid concerns about tariff cuts on farm goods and autos

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso meet in Tokyo on April 18. (Photo by Shinya Sawai)

TOKYO -- Japan and the U.S. kicked off high-level bilateral economic talks in Tokyo on Tuesday, with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who co-chaired the meeting along with Japanese Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso, expressing hope for a future bilateral trade pact with Japan.

"At some point in the future, there may be a decision made between our two nations to take what we have learned in this dialogue and commence formal negotiations for a free trade agreement," Pence told the press after the meeting. 

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