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Japan to boost ties with Pacific Alliance

Staff writer |
Japan has agreed to strengthen its ties with the Pacific Alliance, a forum for economic cooperation comprised of Colombia and three other Latin American countries, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said after talks with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

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The two leaders also agreed to "accelerate negotiations" toward concluding a free trade agreement, Abe told a joint news conference.

The Pacific Alliance was created in June 2012 between Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Chile. Japan has observer status with the group, which it sees as having potential as a supplier of natural resources and foodstuffs.

"We hope to make a major advance in the relationship between Japan and Latin America" through cooperation with the Pacific Alliance and other groups, said Abe, the first Japanese prime minister to visit Colombia.

Santos said Japan and the Pacific Alliance "maintain complementarity."

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