Mr. Tsutomu Koizumi, Minister, Mission of Japan to the European Union, and Mr. Kenji Mikami, Japan Machinery Center (JMC)/ Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industry Association (JEITA) Brussels office were in attendance at the committee meeting on 1 October.

Mr. Koizumi shared his view on the current status of EU-Japan FTA/EPA negotiations. He highlighted the progress made at the 12th round in September in Tokyo, as well as remaining issues and perspectives for conclusion. Round 12 discussed all aspects except investment and progress on some important topics was made. The next round will be held in Brussels basically in the week commencing 26th October.

After Minister’s remarks, Mr. Mikami joined the discussion on the ITA Expansion and updated the status of the EGA. The ITA negotiation is nearly finished, but the discussion on the staging period for tariff elimination attracts a lot of attention. Regarding EGA, some “conflict points” need to be discussed at future rounds. The EU is also willing to discuss how to include the “Service” into EGA structure. WTO and member countries concerned aim to conclude both ITA and EGA negotiations at WTO MC10 in Nairobi in December.