On 8 December 2017, following discussions in Brussels this week, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono announced today that chief negotiators had finalised the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), based on the political agreement struck in July 2017.

The Japan Business Council in Europe (JBCE) welcomes with enthusiasm the conclusion of this EPA phase, the culmination of 4 years of negotiations to deepen the longstanding EU-Japan partnership. JBCE, whose members are European business with Japanese parentage, offers its support for a swift ratification process and implementation of the deal, which covers nearly a quarter of the global economy.

“The EPA is important milestone for the EU and Japan. It is a chance for us to take the lead in setting global standards and establishing a trade system based on fairness, openness and sustainable cooperation,” said Kitayoshi Tsumita, Secretary General of JBCE. “We are confident that it will break down remaining barriers to trade between the EU and Japan, benefitting millions of EU and Japanese citizens through increased growth, innovation, cooperation and jobs.”