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Abe, Merkel Promote Free Trade, Urge EU to Ink Deal

Shinzo Abe and Angela Merkel promoted free trade, pressuring the European Union to seal a free trade accord with Japan after almost four years of discussions.

Both leaders highlighted the advantages of free trade on Sunday. The Japanese premier pressed mediators to strike the agreement soon, saying Japan and Europe must close an economic partnership to signify their commitment.

The German chancellor backed Abe's remarks, slamming the bloc for its decision-making process. She said this is not a blame game and they frequently can't agree.

Talks between the two parties stated in 2013. However, it has faced barriers due to disaccords over matters including auto industry policies and curbs on the region's food products.

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