Japan and Mongolia reached a basic accord on a free trade deal during a summit in Tokyo on Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.
The trade pact features Ulan Bator abolishing its tariffs on most Japanese automobiles in 10 years, Kyodo news agency reported.
The amount of trade between Japan and Mongolia is relatively small, but Tokyo could leverage closer economic ties to boost their political relations. Japan has often relied on Mongolian assistance in negotiating with North Korea over the abduction issue.
During his summit Tuesday with President Tsakhia Elbegdorj in Tokyo, Abe vowed to provide support for facilitating Mongolia’s exports and sustainable economic development, as a complementary package of an economic initiative Tokyo announced at a summit last year.
In the FTA negotiations, which began in 2012, Japan called on Mongolia to eliminate a 5 percent tariff on Japanese car imports, while Ulan Bator asked Tokyo to remove or significantly reduce its 38.5 percent tariff on Mongolian beef.