Negotiations on a free trade agreement with Japan are going very well, says Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says a free trade agreement with Japan is within Australia’s grasp.

“Things are going very well indeed in the negotiations for a Japan-Australia economic partnership or free trade agreement,” Mr Abbott told a business function in Tokyo on Monday.

He said such a deal had eluded Australia for many years.

“But (it) is now within our grasp,” he said.

Mr Abbott thanked Trade Minister Andrew Robb for his tireless effort in seeking the agreement with Japan.

“Japan has arisen from the ashes of war to become one of the world’s most prosperous societies … a liberal democracy and a model international citizen,” Mr Abbott said.

The prime minister is leading a delegation of business leaders and premiers through Japan, South Korea and China.

He said the futures of all three nations and Australia were “inextricably linked”.

“The countries of the Asia-Pacific will advance together or we won’t advance at all.”