EU and Japan continue working towards open trade
The 12th round of EU-Japan talks for a free trade agreement ended on September 18, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan. The negotiators discussed all areas of the future agreement with the exception of the investment chapter. A separate session was organised on that topic at the end of September 2015
In the negotiations, the EU aims at going beyond trade in goods, even though market access, in particular for cars and agricultural goods, remains of key importance respectively for Japan and for the EU. For Europe, it is important for the success of the overall negotiations that Japan addresses issues of concerns, such as non-tariff measures that impede bilateral trade, public procurement constraints, including in the field of railways and public transport, and other issues, such as services, investment, intellectual property and geographical indications.
The EU-Japan Summit of May 2015, gave a strong impulse to advance the negotiations further with the aim to conclude a highly comprehensive and ambitious agreement preferably by the end of 2015. The next full round of talks is planned for the end of October in Brussels.
Japan is the EU’s second biggest trading partner in Asia, after China. Together the EU and Japan account for more than a third of the world’s GDP. Japan remains a major trade partner for the EU and Europe is a very important market for Japan. It is also a major investor in the EU. Imports from Japan to the EU are dominated by machinery, electrical machinery, motor vehicles, optical and medical instruments, and chemicals. EU exports to Japan are dominated by motor vehicles, machinery, pharmaceuticals, optical and medical instruments, and electrical machinery.