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METI Minister Nishimura Attends the 4th EU-Japan High Level Economic Dialogue

October 28, 2023

On Saturday, October 28, 2023, the 4th EU-Japan High-level Economic Dialogue was held, attended by Mr. Nishimura Yasutoshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Ms. Kamikawa Yoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs, from the Japanese side and H.E. Mr. Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President of the European Commission for an Economy that Works for People, European Commissioner for Trade, from the EU side.

Minister Nishimura and Minister Kamikawa from the Japanese side and Executive Vice President Dombrovskis from the EU side attended the dialogue.

At the beginning of the dialogue, the three ministers confirmed the agreement in principle on negotiations concerning provisions on the “free flow of data” under the Japan-EU EPA. They consented to accelerate the necessary procedures toward an early signing of the amendment to the Agreement. For details, see the related document.

Reference: Values of the provisions on the “free flow of data”
The provisions ensure the principle of free flow of data between Japan and the EU, and they ensure companies’ predictability by clearly prohibiting measures that would be barriers to data flow. The provisions also curb digital protectionist measures by countries other than Japan and the EU, while ensuring room for appropriate policy measures in exceptional circumstances, taking into account the evolving nature of digital technologies and other factors.

These provisions will promote data flow between Japan and the EU and serve as a foundation for business facilitation in the huge digital market of about 600 million people in Japan and the EU in total, thereby contributing to strengthening economic ties between Japan and the EU as like-minded partners. Furthermore, the provisions will contribute to the realization of the Data Free Flow with Trust (DFFT) concept advocated by Japan as an example of advanced digital trade rules that strike a balance between “Free” and “Trust” to promote sound development of the digital sector.
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The three ministers held discussions on (1) important issues between Japan and the EU and (2) the G7/WTO.

(1) Important issues between Japan and the EU

he three ministers welcomed the progress made in a variety of collaboration efforts between Japan and the EU and also exchanged views for further cooperation on economic security policies in both Japan and the EU, economic coercion, export control, and so forth.

In addition, they confirmed the following two points as the details of specific cooperation on important issues between Japan and the EU.

  1. Minister Nishimura stated the importance of ideal approaches to sustainable markets, and the ministers agreed to establish a” Working Group on international cooperation on policies for building more transparent, resilient, and sustainable supply chains” for working-level officials between Japan and the EU.
  2. Minister Nishimura expressed Japan’s appreciation for the EU's understanding and support for Japan’s actions about ALPS treated water, and he stated that Japan will continue to meticulously explain the situation to the international community based on scientific evidence and with a high level of transparency, while receiving the IAEA's review, and requested the understanding of the EU side.

(2) The G7/WTO

The three ministers focused on international trade and other issues, including WTO issues, and agreed to promote discussions on WTO reform and other issues in preparation for MC13 to be held in 2024, to continue to cooperate in creating an opportunity for holding discussions on trade and state intervention proposed by the EU, and to promote discussions on a level playing field (LPF) in preparation for MC13 and subsequent meetings.

Related Links

Division in Charge

Europe Division, Trade Policy Bureau

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