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US within 'grabbing distance' of trade deal with Japan

[WASHINGTON] A trade deal between Japan and the United States is within reach, the US State Department's top diplomat for Asia, Danny Russel, said on Monday. "We are within grabbing distance of an agreement with the Japanese," Mr Russel told the Council on Foreign Relations.

The comment by Mr Russel, the State Department's assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, comes ahead of an April 28 summit between US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Japan's Economy Minister Akira Amari said on Monday a few remaining items needed to be resolved for a deal to be announced.

Mr Amari and US Trade Representative Michael Froman are meeting to discuss details of a possible deal, adding momentum to multilateral efforts toward a free-trade pact under the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.


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