EU-Japan Summit: a landmark moment for trade and cooperation

At the 25th EU-Japan Summit, which took place in Tokyo today, two landmark agreements – the Strategic Partnership Agreement and the Economic Partnership Agreement – have been signed, significantly boosting bilateral relations.

A full press release is available, detailing the outcomes of the Summit. The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who alongside the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, represented the European Union said: “Today is a historic moment in our enduring partnership. Today’s signature of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement is a landmark moment for global trade, and I am also delighted that we have signed the first ever Strategic Partnership Agreement, which takes our cooperation to the next level. The impact of the Economic Partnership Agreement goes far beyond our shores. Together, we are making a statement about the future of free and fair trade.  We are showing that we are stronger and better off when we work together and we are leading by example, showing that trade is about more than tariffs and barriers. It is about values, principles and finding win-win solutions for all. As far as we are concerned, there is no protection in protectionism – and there cannot be unity where there is unilateralism.” Read the full remarks of President Juncker at the EU-Japan Summit press conference online. The Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Japan is the biggest ever negotiated by the European Union. It creates an open trade zone covering over 600 million people and nearly a third of global GDP. It will remove the vast majority of the €1 billion of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan, and has led to the removal of a number of long-standing regulatory barriers, for example on cars. Read the full press release on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement online and consult the dedicated factsheet. Negotiations on reciprocal adequacy have also been concluded, meaning that the EU and Japan will recognise each other’s data protection systems as ‘equivalent’, thus allowing data to flow safely between the two. A joint statement of Commissioner Jourová and Japanese Commissioner Haruhi Kumazawa, press release and memo are available. At the Summit, Leaders have also signed the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement, which will provide an overarching and binding framework for enhanced cooperation across a range of areas. A dedicated factsheet on the Strategic Partnership Agreement is available online. For more information on EU-Japan relations, see the factsheet.