NE Asia ministers vow work toward investment pact

TOKYO (AP) — The trade ministers of Japan, China and South Korea are vowing to press forward to seal an investment pact among their countries.

Japan’s Banri Kaieda, China’s Chen Deming and South Korea’s Kim Jong-hoon said in a joint declaration Sunday that they hope to reach consensus on their Trilateral Investment Agreement as soon as possible.

The countries already have bilateral agreements with one another, but Japan is seeking a three-way pact that includes intellectual property protections and other provisions.

The ministers are meeting in Tokyo ahead of next month’s summit between the countries’ leaders.

They also stressed China’s and Korea’s willingness to offer Japan any recovery help it requests following March’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.

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