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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday welcomed political agreement on free trade with European Union, saying that the accord demonstrated both regions' will to counter a rising tide of protectionism.
At a joint news conference with EU leaders in Brussels, Abe said the deal would give a big impact on global economy as it came just a day before a G20 leaders' summit in Hamburg, in which trade is high on agenda amid protectionism.
He said the trade pact provides a "win-win" situation for both Japan and Europe, benefiting consumers of the both regions.
Abe said the bilateral trade deal holds as high a level of quality as the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, and that it should encourage early enactment of the TPP after President Donald Trump decided to pull the U.S. out of it.
Japan and EU also agreed North Korea poses a common threat that the both sides should tackle as a matter of utmost urgency, he added.
Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Richard Borsuk