Japan's Amari: Sees distance to Japan-U.S. agreement on TPP

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Economics Minister Akira Amari said on Tuesday that he sees significant distance towards a broad agreement on trade with the United States, which is seen as vital to a broader regional pact. A U.S.-Japan agreement is critical to the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation grouping that would stretch from Asia to Latin America. A TPP deal is central to U.S. President Barack Obama's policy of expanding the U.S. presence in Asia and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has touted it as a main element of his economic growth strategy. Amari, speaking to reporters, said the two countries will likely announce a strong bond at a summit between Abe and Obama this week. Obama is scheduled to visit Tokyo from Wednesday through Friday. (Reporting by Hitoshi Ishida; Writing by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Dominic Lau)