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Free trade for Canada and Japan

Canada and Japan have agreed to enter free trade talks.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Japanese counterpart made the announcement following a bilateral meeting in Tokyo on Sunday.

Harper says a deal would strengthen the Canadian economy by generating billions of additional dollars in commerce with Japan.

After being shut out Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, both countries embarked on a joint study on economic co-operation, which Canadian government officials say found complimentary areas.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda also announced the two countries will pursue enhanced defence and security co-operation, including the establishment of a supply base the Canadian military could use in emergencies.

Gordon Houlden, a trade expert and former government official, says negotiations will require patience because Asian states are sophisticated traders, and often have strong domestic lobbies.

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