JAPAN, BRITAIN INK POST-BREXIT DEAL
Japan and Britain agreed Friday in principle on a post-Brexit free trade deal, ministers of the two countries said, paving the way for business relationships to continue smoothly even after the end of London's transition period out of the European Union in December, according to Kyodo News.
"This is a historical moment for both countries. This deal deepens the already strong partnership between two democratic island nations," British International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said in a videoconference with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.
Truss said the deal is also an "important step" as Britain seeks membership to the trans-Pacific free trade agreement covering 11 countries, including Japan, Australia and Mexico, accounting for about 13 percent of the global economy.
Motegi told reporters following the talks, "The deal will allow for continuance of advantages Japan has gained from the Japan-EU free trade deal and will secure continuity in Japanese companies' businesses."
The two sides will speed up work for signing the deal and ratifying it, seeking its implementation next January.
They were negotiating the deal since June as Britain will no longer be part of the existing Japan-EU free trade agreement when its transition period out of the bloc ends in December.
The two ministers had reached a substantial agreement on most areas on Aug. 7 following talks in London.
But they missed their initial goal of agreeing in principle by the end of August due to differences over how much Japan will cut tariffs on its cheese and farm imports from Britain, according to negotiation sources.
The bilateral trade deal largely replicates the Japan-EU agreement, which came into force in February 2019.
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