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16 Asia-Pacific nations discuss tariffs at 3rd round of free trade talks

Sixteen Asia-Pacific countries began their third round of free trade talks Tuesday, with tariff-related issues on the agenda. Negotiators from the 10 ASEAN member states and their six regional partners -- Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea -- will hold working group meetings on trade in goods, trade in services, and investment during their four-day gathering.

ASEAN ministers meet in Myanmar for 1st time, discuss ASEAN Community

Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations held talks Friday in Myanmar's ancient city of Bagan in the first high-level ASEAN meeting hosted by the country since it assumed chairmanship of the regional bloc earlier this month. Myanmar Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin told a press conference after the half-day meeting that the ministers discussed accelerating ASEAN integration and expediting the process of building an ASEAN Community, which is scheduled to be established in 2015.

Myanmar steps into international role at ASEAN helm

Myanmar begins its first international political role in decades this week as host of Southeast Asia's regional bloc, with experts warning against "over-inflated" expectations as the group grapples with territorial disputes and ambitious economic integration plans. The country will host foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for an informal meeting on Friday in the ancient capital Bagan -- the first major gathering of the group under Myanmar's debut year-long stewardship.

Japan trade chief calls for increased economic ties with ASEAN

Trade minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Sunday called for increased economic relations between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Speaking at a forum in Tokyo, Motegi said Japan and ASEAN are among each other's most important trading partners, pointing out that Japan's direct investment in the 10-member bloc is larger than that of any other country

Japan, ASEAN trade chiefs call for increased economic ties

Trade ministers from Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Sunday called for increased economic relations between the trade partners. Speaking at a forum in Tokyo, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi said Japan and ASEAN are among each other's most important trading partners, pointing out that Japan's direct investment in the 10-member bloc is larger than that of any other country.

Japan, ASEAN seek 'freedom of overflight' amid China tensions

Japan and Southeast Asian countries agreed Saturday on the importance of freedom in the skies, in the first major gathering of the continent's leaders since China ramped up regional tensions with a controversial air defence zone. The cautious show of support for Tokyo in its bitter row with Beijing came as Japan pledged $20 billion in aid and grants for the region.

Japan, ASEAN seek 'freedom of overflight' amid China tensions

Japan and Southeast Asian countries agreed Saturday on the importance of freedom in the skies, in the first major gathering of the continent's leaders since China ramped up regional tensions with a controversial air defence zone. The cautious show of support for Tokyo in its bitter row with Beijing came as Japan pledged $20 billion in aid and grants for the region.

Japanese businesses see Southeast Asia as key to their growth

Japanese business leaders on Saturday emphasized the importance of Southeast Asian markets for the growth of Japanese companies during a meeting with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. "Japan's economic circles will continue to deepen economic exchanges with ASEAN," Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, known as Keidanren, said at the luncheon meeting. "Japan wants to contribute to sustainable growth in the ASEAN region," he added.

Japan PM calls for stronger ASEAN ties to improve regional security

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan and Southeast Asia must strengthen ties and ensure the region is based on the rule of law and not force, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Asian leaders at a summit on Saturday, amid heightened tensions over China's new air defense zone. China's recent announcement of an air defense zone over islands in the East China Sea, which are also claimed by Tokyo, triggered protests from Japan, United States and South Korea.

Japan seeks ASEAN backing on China with $20 bn pledge

Japan pledged $20 billion in aid and loans to Southeast Asia on Saturday, the latest step in its bid to woo global public opinion in a territorial dispute with China. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offered the cash over five years for members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at a celebratory summit to mark 40 years of ties with the bloc. The announcement crowns a year of courting by Abe, who has visited all 10 countries in the grouping at least once since he came to power last year, always with one eye on wresting back influence in the region from China.
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