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Japan To Seek Asia-wide Free Trade Accord: Vice Foreign Minister

June 7, 2001

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Asian nations should form a free trade alliance encompassing the entire region, a top foreign ministry official said Thursday.

Speaking at the Future of Asia conference in Tokyo, senior vice foreign minister Seiken Sugiura also said Tokyo would sign a free trade agreement with Singapore by the end of the year.

"Using the accord as a first step, we should create a framework for free trade and economic exchanges throughout Asia," Sugiura said.

(The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Thursday evening edition)

Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.