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Japan, Poland leaders agree to advance free trade

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R front) and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski (L, 3rd from front) hold a meeting at the prime minister's office in Tokyo on Feb. 27, 2015. (Kyodo)

BRATISLAVA (Kyodo) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki agreed Wednesday to push for free trade after a market-opening deal between Japan and the European Union took effect recently.

    The agreement was reached in a meeting between the two leaders in the Slovak capital, where Abe will have a summit with leaders from the Visegrad Four -- the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia -- on Thursday.

    During the talks, Abe and Morawiecki shared the view that North Korea must respect U.N. Security Council resolutions on the country's nuclear development, Japanese officials said.

    The Japanese leader also sought Poland's cooperation in helping resolve the issue of Pyongyang's abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s, a request Morawiecki accepted.

    Abe is on a six-country tour of Europe and North America. He arrived in Bratislava earlier Wednesday, becoming the first Japanese prime minister to visit Slovakia.

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