Abe, Pence reaffirm cooperation toward nuclear-free N. Korea

Baku, November 13, AZERTAC

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence agreed on Tuesday to expand trade and investment for mutual benefit, Kyodo news agency reported.

During their meeting in Tokyo, Abe and Pence also confirmed their cooperation in the denuclearization of North Korea.

The Japanese premier and U.S. vice president agreed to "expand further bilateral trade and investment beneficial to both countries," Abe said in a joint press conference after the meeting.

Pence called for a bilateral pact on trade in goods and services, which he claimed will be an exemplary deal for the Indo-Pacific region.

The United States has had a trade imbalance with Japan for "too long" and American products and services "too often" face barriers to compete fairly in Japan, Pence said.

"The best opportunity for free, fair and reciprocal trade will come in bilateral trade agreement," the vice president said.

Negotiations for such a bilateral trade agreement, which Abe and Trump agreed to launch in September, are scheduled to start in mid-January.

The meeting comes at a time when speculation is growing in Japan that Trump will adopt a tougher stance on the Asian country over trade following the midterm elections last week.

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