EU to launch free trade negotiations with Japan-EU official

BRUSSELS Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:48am EST

BRUSSELS Nov 29 (Reuters) - EU trade ministers agreed on Thursday to start negotiations to create a free-trade area with Japan, overcoming resistance from European carmakers who fear a deal might damage their industry.

"We have a deal," said an EU official close to the negotiations.

An accord between Europe and Japan would bring together two trading partners responsible for a third of global economic output and could create 400,000 jobs in Europe alone. France and Italy have been worried about the impact on their carmakers.

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