On 24 March 2015 the Chair of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade Japan Monitoring Group, Mr Silva Pereira, invited JBCE to speak in front of the INTA Monitoring Group in charge of the EU-Japan FTA. Present at the meeting were Trade Policy Committee Chair and Vice-Chair T. Yokota and S. Alvera respectively, Secretary-General Y. Kawaguchi, and Vice-Chairman L. Brückner.

In a speech to the Japan Monitoring Group Mr Brückner emphasised that JBCE continues to support the objective of a timely conclusion of the FTA negotiations and therefore remains firmly committed to working as a facilitator and offering all necessary expertise. Specifically, JBCE called on the Members of both the Japan Monitoring Group and the European Parliament as a whole to continue supporting the negotiations and eventually approve a comprehensive FTA without delays.

JBCE expects the European Commission President Juncker and Japanese Prime Minister Abe to reconfirm at the forthcoming EU-Japan Summit their commitment to the aim of concluding negotiations by the end of 2015. JBCE stated that it is aware of the fact that some issues remain unresolved for the moment, but underlined that a speedy conclusion is as important as ensuring quality and comprehensiveness of a final FTA.

In his speech Mr Brückner also explained the reasons for JBCE’s strong support of a comprehensive FTA and listed some of the expected benefits. Furthermore, he stressed that JBCE calls for the inclusion of regulatory cooperation into an EU-Japan FTA. Regulatory cooperation (i.e. timely, forward-looking and effective cooperation on regulations and standards) will contribute to a business environment of certainty and predictability and aid the competitiveness of European and Japanese industry alike and help both regions tackle common societal and economic challenges.

Mr. Silva Pereira appreciated JBCE’s positive message. He ended the meeting by stating that the best way to conclude the FTA negotiations is to ensure that both sides understand each other. This will encourage JBCE to carry on acting as a bridge between the EU and Japan.