Japan to Continue Discussions on Trade Deal with Mercosur


Sao Paulo, Jan. 10 (Jiji Press)--Japan will continue discussions on a proposed economic partnership agreement for free trade with the Mercosur trade bloc in South America, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Tuesday.

"Mercosur countries and business officials had been expressing their hopes for such a deal, and similar voices reached us this time again," Hayashi told a press conference in Buenos Aires during his tour of four Latin American countries and the United States.

"I've told such people that there are various opinions in Japan on how to strengthen its economic relations with Mercosur and that further discussions are necessary," he also said.

The Mercosur bloc is a major agricultural and mineral exporter and also a huge market.

Its free trade agreement with the European Union is set to take effect in the near future. Mercosur is also negotiating a similar deal with South Korea.

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