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Pence to Discuss Trade,NKorea in Japan 11/12 06:20

   TOKYO (AP) -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Tokyo on Monday to 
discuss North Korea and other issues with Japanese officials before heading to 
two regional summits.

   Pence is expected to also discuss China's growing regional influence and 
bilateral trade with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when they meet Tuesday, 
officials said.

   During a stopover in Alaska, Pence told reporters that he planned to "talk 
about our important alliance, our economic relationship, current negotiations 
for a free trade agreement of course, and we'll be focusing on our ongoing 
commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Japan's NHK public 
television reported.

   Pence said in a recent opinion piece in the Washington Post that America 
will soon begin negotiations for "a historic trade agreement with Japan."

   The two countries agreed in September to start negotiations on a bilateral 
trade agreement. Talks are expected to begin early next year.

   President Donald Trump's administration has reached a trade pact with South 
Korea and another with Mexico and Canada. Pence said in the article that the 
new trade deals "will put American jobs and American workers first."

   Pence also stressed American commitment to the security and prosperity of 
the Indo-Pacific region.

   Pence is to leave Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Association of 
Southeast Asian Nations in Singapore and an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 
summit in Papua New Guinea on behalf of Trump.

   Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters Monday that 
Pence's visit ahead of the regional meetings is a "perfect chance to reaffirm 
cooperation between Japan and the United States regarding our policies on North 
Korea and various other issues of mutual interest."

   He said Pence and Abe will discuss ways to expand trade and investment 
between the two sides.


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