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Japan expects extremely difficult trade talks with EU

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Staff Writer | June 30, 2017
Japan and the European Union will kick off two days of talks on Friday in Tokyo with a view to reaching a broad agreement on bilateral free trade, the Japanese government said.
Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom
Trade talks   Japan and EU start trade talks
An agreement between two of the world's largest economies would be seen as a political opportunity to reject U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist stance.

Soon after being inaugurated, Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal signed by 12 Pacific Rim nations, including Japan and the US, in February 2016.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom is set to arrive in Tokyo Friday for two days of talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

"I expect the negotiations will be extremely difficult," Kishida told reporters late Thursday.

Chief trade negotiators from the two sides have been holding informal talks in Tokyo for the past two weeks.