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Noda mum about whether to join Pacific free trade talks

By Tomoyuki Tachikawa

TOKYO, Oct. 28 — Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Friday expressed his eagerness to take all possible steps to tackle the yen's appreciation, but kept mum about whether he believes Japan should join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks.

Noda said only that he will reach a conclusion as soon as possible on the country's participation in the U.S.-led free trade negotiations in a major policy speech at an extraordinary Diet session, which was convened last week and will run through Dec. 9.

Since taking office on Sept. 2, the premier has reiterated his desire for Japan to take part in the talks. He is said to be aiming to reach a decision on the matter before the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum scheduled for mid-November in Hawaii, which will be hosted by the United States. (PNA/Kyodo) scs/rsm

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