On December 12, the Members of the European Parliament will vote on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the final step in the process of ratification of this historic accord.  The Japan Business Council in Europe (JBCE) calls upon MEPs to ratify the EU-Japan EPA in its current form and without delay. Since its foundation in 1999, the JBCE has sought to act as a bridge between the EU and Japan, facilitating exchange between the businesses, lawmakers, and societies of both sides. As part of this task, we have actively engaged with policymakers throughout the development of the EU-Japan EPA, and we believe that this Agreement is a solid foundation on which to strengthen the EU-Japan economic and political relationship in the years ahead.

Furthermore, both partners have sent an important signal with this Agreement. In a time where the values of free and fair trade are under constant attack, the EU-Japan EPA ensures that at least one third of global trade remains untouched by protectionism.

JBCE President Mr Toru Morita summed up this spirit of cooperation, saying “It has been five years since the EU and Japan began negotiating the EU-Japan EPA. The quality of the EU-Japan EPA shows that this time has been well spent, as the final agreement will lead to great benefits for citizens and businesses in both Europe and Japan. It will allow both partners to show the value of truly free trade. It is not just about removing barriers – it is also about building bridges.”

The JBCE and its members stand ready to do our part to bring the benefits of this Agreement to fruition. With all of this in mind, we call upon Members of the European Parliament to ratify the EU-Japan EPA in Strasbourg next week – it is truly a win-win deal.