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China, Japan, S. Korea Talk Free Trade Agreement
November 22, 2012

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China, Japan, and South Korea have agreed to continue talks on a free trade agreement.

The three countries agreed to pursue the agreement in May, but a dispute over ownership of the land and water surrounding a group of islands in the East China Sea has soured relations between China and Japan and affected the economics of both countries. The dispute over the islands, which are known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan, has not been resolved, although tensions are lower than they were a few weeks ago. A similar territorial disagreement between Japan and South Korea is ongoing as well.

A free trade agreement between the three countries would no doubt be a boost for all three. China and Japan are the world's second- and third-largest economics (behind current No. 1 the United States). South Korea's economy is the world's 15th-largest. South Korea began a free trade pact with the U.S. earlier this year. Neither of the other two countries has such an agreement with the U.S.

Japan and South Korea have not had trade negotiations since 2004.





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