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Japan, Britain likely to sign post-Brexit trade deal in Oct.

In this Sept. 20, 2019 file photo, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, right, and British International Trade Secretary Liz Truss shake hands at the ministry in Tokyo. (Kyodo)

LONDON (Kyodo) -- Japan and Britain are likely to sign a bilateral post-Brexit free trade deal in Tokyo in October with the aim of bringing it into force at the start of 2021, a British government source said Friday.

    The deal is expected to take effect in January following ratification by the two countries' parliaments.

    It will be one of the first trade pacts signed between Britain and another major economy that will be in place upon its exit from the European Union in January.

    With the deal, Britain is likely to speed up efforts to join the revised Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional free trade agreement involving 11 countries including Japan, Australia and Mexico, giving British businesses a gateway to Asia and the Pacific.

    According to the Department for International Trade, the bilateral deal will increase London's trade with Japan by an estimated 15.2 billion pounds (about $2 trillion).

    The pact is based largely on the Japan-EU FTA, which covers Britain until the end of December when the Brexit transition period will be complete.

    The Japan-EU FTA came into effect in February last year, removing or lowering tariffs on agricultural products from Europe while scrapping the 10 percent tariff on Japanese automobiles in its eighth year and immediately removing those on auto parts.

    The new deal removes Britain's tariffs on Japanese cars in stages to zero in 2026, which is the same as in the existing EU agreement, while it immediately scraps tariffs on railway cars and auto parts.

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