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Press Conference by Minister Kajiyama (excerpted version)

*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.

11:10–11:16 a.m.
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Press Conference Room, METI

Question-and-Answer Session

UK-EU Trade Negotiations

Q: Trade negotiations between the UK and the EU are currently going through difficulties. While little time is left until the end of the year, logistics of Japanese automobile manufacturers have been stagnating and factories have been suspended. Would you tell us your thoughts on this?

A: I am aware that the UK-EU negotiations reached an agreement on the 13th to continue consultations at the summit level. They are currently under negotiation. If their negotiations are not concluded by the end of the year, the customs duty burden will be restored, which will have a major impact on the Japanese companies including the automobile industry, as I have repeatedly stated.
Therefore, we have at every occasion been urging both the UK and the EU to conclude the negotiations promptly. We will continue to closely monitor the status of negotiations, and work hard to minimize the impact on Japanese companies, including responding to consultations from individual companies and providing information.
As I mentioned earlier, we have been offering a consultation service, the so-called Service Desk on Preparations for Brexit, since last autumn, and now have 200 staff and experts to individually work with SMEs and mid-ranking enterprises. Of course we are also implementing individual measures for large companies. We are currently placing experts both in the UK and the EU for the consultation service.

Last updated:2020-12-15