Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks, as his wife Akie (L) and Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (R) listen, during a reception at Kirribilli House in Sydney on Jan. 14, 2017. / AFP / POOL / Brook Mitchell
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Japan and Australia will work together to ensure the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal comes into force, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Saturday, making no mention of strong U.S. opposition.After talks with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Abe took the lead on the trade pact covering 12 Pacific Rim nations that was ratified by Japan's parliament last month.Unveiled in 2016 and years in the making, the TPP cannot be implemented in its current form without US ratification.Trump says he supports free trade but that existing deals, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, have not been fairly negotiated and do not serve U.S. interests.Close allies Canberra and Tokyo announced Saturday a new defense deal to facilitate closer logistics support and cooperation during combined exercises, training and peace-keeping operations.
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