The 5-day EPA negotiations are taking place at Japan's Foreign Ministry in Tokyo.
Japanese Ambassador in charge of economic diplomacy Jun Yokota said the economic ties between Japan and Canada are complementary and a free trade accord would further strengthen relations.
Trade between the 2 countries totals over 20 billion US dollars annually. Japan mainly exports cars and electronic equipment to Canada.
Besides tariff cuts, Japanese officials want to secure stable supplies of coal and shale gas from Canada.
Canada will likely ask Japan to remove or lower tariffs on agricultural products including wheat and pork. The Japanese officials are expected to take a cautious approach to prevent possible damage to domestic farmers.
Nov. 27, 2012 - Jiji Press reports that the Japanese government and Canada kicked off negotiations on Monday to conclude an economic partnership agreement, with the first round of the talks set to continue in Tokyo through Friday.
Japan is poised to demand the removal of Canadian tariffs on automobiles and auto parts, as well as stable supplies of energy and mineral resources.
The Canadian delegation is expected to urge Japan to open its markets for agricultural, fishery and forestry products, including pork, wheat and timber.
Leaders from the two countries in March agreed to launch the EPA talks.
The Japanese side is represented by Jun Yokota, ambassador in charge of economic diplomacy, and the Canadian side by Ian Burney, assistant deputy minister for trade policy and negotiations.