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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that Japan has gained U.S. backing to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations as the two countries finalized preparatory talks on contentious issues.
"Japan and the United States reached an agreement on Japan's participation in the TPP negotiations," Abe said, adding, "Japan's national interest is firmly protected" in the agreement.
Japan must still wait for U.S. President Barack Obama to seek congressional approval for Japan's admission, as well as official nods from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Peru.
Philippines News agency