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Japan, EU to sign free trade deal

Move will create an open trade zone covering nearly a third of the world's GDP and 600 million people.

The European Union and Japan will sign one of the world's biggest free trade agreements (FTA) Tuesday, reports BBC News.

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The move will create an open trade zone covering nearly a third of the world's GDP and 600 million people.

Firms in the EU currently export more than $100 billion (€85.1 billion) in goods and services to Japan, the world's third-biggest economy, every year.

The EU's top officials will be in Japan for the signing ceremony, including EU Council President Donald Tusk, and European Commission Head Jean-Claude Juncker.

Speaking in China on Monday, Tusk said: "It is the common duty of Europe and China, but also America and Russia, not to destroy [the global trade order] but to improve it, not to start trade wars which turned into hot conflicts so often in our history.

"There is still time to prevent conflict and chaos," he said.

"At a time when protectionist measures are gaining steam globally, the signing of the Japan-EU deal today will show the world once again our unwavering political will to promote free trade," said Japanese Minister for Economic Revitalisation Toshimitsu Motegi.

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