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The sentence I saw it in is:

It was against this background that Mitsubishi approached KFC with a proposal to start a joint venture in Japan.

It seems to mean "in the case", but I'm not sure and I cannot find a clear definition of it.

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Could you please add some context? At least give us the full sentence you saw it in. Without this, the question is unanswerable. – Jim Oct 26 '13 at 22:07
I did it. Thank you for reminding. – JoshuaFicy Oct 26 '13 at 23:27
It was against this background that S is a way to open a sentence by summoning up all the previous historical, geographic, socioeconomic, political, or other discussion, and then saying "All this discussion was background information for S". – John Lawler Oct 27 '13 at 0:08

In that sort of use, "against this background" means something like "in this context". It's sort of saying "If you consider what I've just told you, you will understand the particular significance of the fact that..."

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Read as: 'with this in mind.' I can't be certain without context, but I suspect the previous sentence informs this one.

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