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Mexico president-elect gives assurance over Japanese firms

Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (R) shakes hands with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono during their talks in Mexico City on Aug. 17, 2018. (Photo courtesy of the Japanese Foreign Ministry) (Kyodo)

MEXICO CITY (Kyodo) -- Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador assured Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in their talks Friday that his country will give highest consideration to the operations of Japanese firms as it renegotiates a free trade agreement with the United States and Canada.

In the meeting in Mexico City, Lopez Obrador told Kono that he will give "maximum consideration" to averting a negative impact on Japanese companies operating in Mexico as the negotiation continues over the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Major Japanese manufacturers such as Honda Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. operate plants in Mexico.

On the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade accord signed by 11 countries including Japan and Mexico, Kono and Lopez Obrador confirmed the importance of their cooperation toward the deal's early entry into force and expansion of the number of member states.

The two also agreed to further bolster bilateral relations as this year marks the 130th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Mexico.

Lopez Obrador of the leftist National Regeneration Movement was elected president in July. He is set to assume office on Dec. 1.

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