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Japan's Abe, German president agree to advance Japan-EU trade deal

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier agreed here Tuesday to advance a free trade agreement between Japan and the European Union (EU).

"Japan and Germany will continue to hold the flag of free trade high," the Japanese prime minister was quoted as telling a joint press briefing on the matter.

Steinmeier, for his part, said the free trade deal would serve as a basis for future exchanges between Japan and the European bloc.

Japan and the EU are looking to confirming the free trade deal in 2019 at the earliest.

Following the conclusion of the visit to Japan, Steinmeier will attend the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea on Friday.

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