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S. Korea, China, Japan strike deal on investment pact
SEOUL, March 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea, China and Japan have concluded negotiations on a three-way accord aimed at promoting corporate direct investment, Seoul's trade ministry said Thursday.

   The three nations have been negotiating the trilateral investment treaty since 2007. The pact may be signed by the leaders of the three nations in May when they hold a summit in Beijing, officials said earlier.

   South Korea, China and Japan already have bilateral investment pacts with one another.

   The accord, if signed, will likely serve as a precursor to a three-way free trade agreement among the three neighboring nations.

   Since last May, the three nations have held preliminary talks on the feasibility of a free trade deal with the aim of concluding the talks by the end of this year.

   In January, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao agreed to start formal negotiations for a free trade agreement before the end of June.