By NHK World
Officials of the Japanese and Chinese governments have agreed to move forward with talks on another economic partnership as the prospects for the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are unclear.
The officials met in Tokyo on Wednesday, with Japanese Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Keiichi Katakami and Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Yan attending.
They agreed on advancing talks on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP. The 16 member countries include Japan, China, and Southeast Asian countries, but not the United States.
US President-elect Donald Trump says he will take America out of the TPP deal.
Observers say China wants to make RCEP the basis for trade rules in the Asia-Pacific region.
They also say Japan wants RCEP to enable free trade at the same level as the TPP.