Brussels, 17 June 2015
On Tuesday, over 150 participants celebrated the Japan Business Council in Europe’s (JBCE) 15-year history. The event focused on the future of EU-Japan Regulatory Cooperation, treating guests to a timely discussion featuring Ambassador of Japan to the European Union, H.E. Keiichi Katakami and keynote speaker Daniel Calleja-Crespo, Director General at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW).
“Even as we celebrated, we wanted to realise the JBCE mission of contributing to EU policymaking,” said JBCE President Noriaki Hashimoto. “JBCE has consistently made regulatory cooperation a priority, and we wanted to open the discussion to involve industry as well as decision makers.”
Panellists included Khalil Rouhana (Director, Components and Systems, European Commission DG for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CNECT)), Kazushige Nobutani (Director, Europe Division, Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)), Lars Brückner (JBCE Vice Chairman for External Communication), Hubert Mandery (Director General of the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC)) and Chris Bourillon (Secretary General, euRobotics). Panellists shared views on future bilateral regulatory cooperation, remaining obstacles, and ways to formalise and multiply the channels available to business to assist policymakers.
As the EU-Japan relationship intensifies by enhancing trade and investment, the need for further cooperation on regulations, standards, and procedures becomes evident. To address this, policymakers from METI and DG-GROW made the subject central to the EU-Japan Industrial Policy Dialogue held in March of this year, and leaders at the recent 2015 EU-Japan Summit supported cooperation efforts.
This political will has been matched—if not surpassed—by businesses who urged Japanese and EU authorities to take the lead in promoting mutual trust and regulatory cooperation at the 2015 EU-Japan Business Roundtable.
“Pioneering sectors like robotic cannot work nor grow without sensible and enabling regulatory cooperation and a certain level of harmonisation. Otherwise, the true value of new industries remains an unfulfilled promise,” said Mr Bourillon.
“For industry, regulatory cooperation is arguably as important as tariff reduction and the removal of existing non-tariff mesaures,” continued Mr Brückner. “Cooperation early in the legislative process to increase mutuality in existing and upcoming regulations will help the EU and Japan avoid creating inadvertent barriers to trade and investment, including the introduction of new technologies and innovative products and services.”
The logical extension of bilateral work would be to take it to the multilateral level, linking into cooperation efforts in the context of TTIP, TPP and other agreements. The more these frameworks resemble one another, the easier it is for businesses to operate internationally.
“Despite their different backgrounds, panellists agreed regulatory cooperation is a requisite for a seamless business environment. JBCE will continue to work to make this a reality”, concluded President Hashimoto.
About the Japan Business Council in Europe
Japan Business Council in Europe was established in 1999 as the representative organization of Japanese companies operating in the European Union. Our membership consists of over 70 leading multinational corporations that are active across a wide range of sectors, including electronics, automotive, and chemical manufacturing.
The key goal of JBCE is to contribute to EU public policy in a positive and constructive way. In doing so, we can draw upon the expertise and experience of our member companies.