Stalled FTA talks with Japan to be resumed

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Stalled FTA talks with Japan to be resumed

The finance ministers of Korea and Japan agreed Saturday to continue efforts to resume suspended free trade talks, both sides said.

Korean Minister of Strategy and Finance Bahk Jae-wan and his Japanese counterpart Koriki Jojima met in Seoul to discuss matters of mutual concern, including the suspended FTA talks.

“We have reconfirmed the importance of continued efforts to resume Korea-Japan Free Trade Agreement talks,” the two sides said in a joint press release. “Each promised to push for appropriate macroeconomic measures and seek policy coordination.”

The FTA negotiations between Seoul and Tokyo have been suspended since November 2004, mainly because of Japan’s reluctance to lower tariffs on agricultural goods.

The finance ministers’ meeting, originally scheduled for late August, had been postponed due to Japan’s protest against President Lee Myung-bak’s unprecedented trip to Dokdo, a set of Korean islets in the East Sea to which Japan also lays claim. The finance ministers will meet in Japan early next year.

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