Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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Minister Motegi’s Speech at the Japan/EC Press Briefing

September 24, 2013

Thank you very much. Having been involved in the Japan-EU EPA since its launch in March this year, Commissioner De Gucht and I had a very good discussion today. Next month, the third negotiation meeting is to be held, so we agreed to instruct officials to accelerate the negotiations and to ask the leaders to issue the message at the Japan-EU summit that both sides will continue working toward an early conclusion of the Japan-EU EPA.

Japan and the EU, are both highly sophisticated economies and societies based on shared basic values, have built close economic ties over the years. For instance, Japanese companies provide jobs for 470,000 people in Europe, while European companies employ 270,000 people in Japan, mutually supporting each other’s economic activities. In terms of their respective positions in the global economy, Japan is the hub in the Asia-Pacific economic sphere, whereas the EU is the hub in the Atlantic economic sphere.

The Japan-EU EPA that links Japan and the EU holding such respective positions constitutes one of the so-called “Mega FTAs’’ along with TPP and T-TIP. Japan and the EU combined count for 10% of the world’s population, 20% of its global trade value and 30% of the world’s GDP. Growth in Japan and the EU contributes to the development of the economic spheres they belong to, thereby contributing to global economic development.

The Japan-EU EPA negotiations deal with tariffs as well as behind-the-border measures that impact trade. In the negotiations, we aim at making rules worthy of a 21st century “Mega FTA’’ over a broad range of areas such as harmonization of regulations, non-tariff measures, intellectual property rights, investment, services, government procurement, environment and labor. So that we may deepen the negotiations soon, we agreed today to exchange offers as early as possible. Through such endeavors, I hope the Japan-EU EPA will play a leading role in global rule-making just as with TPP and T-TIP.

Division in Charge

Europe Division, Trade Policy Bureau

Related Information

Regional Affairs / Europe

Last updated:2013-10-01
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