[TOKYO] Japan will make efforts to break a deadlock in a proposed Asia-Pacific regional trade deal ahead of a key weekend meeting of trade ministers, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday.
Saturday's meeting in Beijing "will be important for an early conclusion" of the multilateral Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks, Mr Abe told a meeting of Japanese cabinet ministers on the subject. "Japan will actively contribute to an early conclusion," he said.
The 12-nation talks have snagged as Japan and the United States, by far the biggest economies in the group, are deadlocked in bilateral talks, chiefly over access to Japan's agricultural market.
Economy Minister Akira Amari told reporters after the meeting that Japan will cooperate with other TPP members to reach a deal.