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Japan joins Pacific trade talks on eve of APEC summit

Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda arrived in Hawaii late Friday for the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit after announcing that his country would join key negotiations aimed at knocking down trans-Pacific trade barriers.

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AFP - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda arrived late Friday in Hawaii for an Asia-Pacific summit after delivering a boost to an emerging trade deal by pledging participation.

Noda landed in the tropical US state's capital Honolulu for the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation bloc and was expected to hold a series of meetings Saturday with leaders including US President Barack Obama, an aide said.

Shortly before his departure, Noda said that Japan would enter talks on the creation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, meaning that the deal would cover more than two-thirds of the global economy.

The United States hailed the decision, which came at a political risk amid opposition by his nation's farmers. Noda's move leaves China, which recently surpassed Japan as the world's second largest economy, as a conspicuous outsider to the proposed deal.

Obama has championed the Trans-Pacific Partnership which also includes Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

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