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IP/04/772

Brussels, 21 June 2004

EU-Japan Summit: further steps towards a reinforced partnership

President Romano Prodi will represent the European Commission at the 13th Summit between the European Union (EU) and Japan which will take place in Tokyo on 22 June 2004. The meeting will be hosted by Mr Junichiro Koizumi, Prime Minister of Japan whilst the Irish Prime Minister and President of the European Council, Bertie Ahern, will head the EU delegation. Discussions will centre on a range of key international issues such as co-operation on disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the fight against terrorism, and the current situations in the Middle East and on the Korean Peninsula. Discussions are also expected to focus on EU-Japan relations, including implementation of the EU-Japan Action Plan agreed in 2001. Trade and economic co-operation will also figure high on the agenda, particularly promoting two-way investment, on which a new co-operation framework will be adopted, and on the environment. Pascal Lamy, Commissioner for Trade will attend the Summit.

President Prodi said: “Our preparations for this Summit have shown again the excellent spirit of co-operation shared by the EU and Japan on a wide range of issues. I am confident of a successful Summit that will reflect the importance of the EU-Japan relationship, reinforcing our strategic partnership both in the political and economic areas. I will be particularly pleased to open the first EU Institute in Japan during my visit. I know that this will be a valuable resource for Japan to learn and understand more about the European Union, in the mutual interest of both sides”.

The Summit will also provide an opportunity to discuss recent major developments in the European Union, most notably EU Enlargement and the EU Constitution.

EU-Japan Business Dialogue Round Table

In the margins of the summit, the annual meeting of the EU-Japan Business Dialogue Round Table will be held, attended by Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen and Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy on the EU side.

The EU-Japan Business Dialogue Round Table was set up in 1999 and aims to give policy recommendations to European and Japanese authorities. The Round Table consists of some 40 Chief Executive Officers (CEO) of leading EU and Japanese companies. Being industry led, the Round Table relies on specialised working groups to draft its annual recommendations to the relevant Public Authorities on how to improve the business environment in Europe and Japan. The Round Table is co-chaired by Messrs. Davignon (Vice-Chairman Suez-Tractebel) and Kobayashi (CEO Fuji/Xerox).

Background

In 2003, Japan was the EU’s fourth trading partner after the US, China and Switzerland, while the EU was Japan’s third trading partner after the US and China. EU-25 imports from Japan amounted to € 72 bio whereas EU-25 exports to Japan amounted to € 41 bio.

For further information on EU Japan relations see:
The EU's relations with Japan – Introduction:
http://ec.europa.eu/trade/issues/bilateral/countries/japan/index_en.htm


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