According to the Foreign Ministry, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper are on the same page as far as negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement between the two countries is concerned. The two leaders met at Vladivostok, Russia and have agreed to cooperate on a USA-led free trade initiative: Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Canada is slated to join the TPP negotiations when the next round commences in December. Japan has yet to formally announce its participation as it faces several hiccups on the way. Noda has apparently told his Canadian counterpart that Tokyo will shell out C$1 million (80,000,000 yen) to help Canada in the light of the tsunami debris that bombarded its coastline.
In any case Noda has promised U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, US$5 million (400,000,000 yen) to Washington for the same reason. In the same breath, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang thanked Noda for all the support (read financial aid) his government has meted to Hanoi. Yes, Noda and his aides are on a dole-out spree despite the worsening economic conditions back home. The two countries have agreed to cooperate at a summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations scheduled for November in Phnom Penh. Territorial disputes between China and Southeast Asian countries including Vietnam are expected to top the agenda.
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