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Japan's trade minister backs Taiwan's entry into WTO.


Japanese trade minister Takeo Hiranuma reiterated Monday Tokyo's support to an early entry by Taiwan into the 139-member World Trade Organization (WTO) as well as that by China.

Hiranuma, minister of international trade and industry, made the remark when he met Taiwan Economics Minister Lin Hsin-i on the sidelines of a two-day meeting of trade and foreign ministers of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, a Japanese official said.

''I hope both Taiwan and China will become (WTO) members early. I think the timing of it (Taiwan's accession to the WTO) should be soon after China's entry,'' HIranuma was quoted as telling Li, minister of economic affairs.

Hiranuma was responding to a request by Lin to continue supporting Taiwan's bid to join the WTO, the official said.

Hiranuma's remarks echoed a statement issued Monday by the APEC ministers after their two-day meeting in the Brunei capital, in which they gave support to ''rapid accession'' to the WTO by Taiwan.

The latest talks on China's entry into the WTO ended in Geneva last week with ''substantial progress'' in tackling outstanding issues, a move trade officials said could pave the way for China's accession next spring.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Nov 20, 2000
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