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Brussels, 27 May 2011

EU-Japan Summit

The 20th EU – Japan Summit will take place in Brussels on 28 May 2011. The Summit will be hosted by Mr Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and by Mr José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht will also attend. Japan will be represented by Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Discussions are expected to focus on a comprehensive strengthening of EU-Japan relations across a range of sectors. In particular, leaders will discuss the deepening of economic relations, notably through the potential launch of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement. Energy cooperation including the strengthening of global nuclear safety standards will also be high on the agenda.

Ahead of the EU-Japan Summit the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy declared:

"I would like to reaffirm the EU’s commitment to a genuine strategic partnership with Japan, as well as our solidarity with the Japanese government and people in the aftermath of the disasters of 11 March. Our commitment is firmly based on a broad public support in the EU for closer political and economic ties with Japan, also demonstrated by the overwhelming expressions of support and solidarity after that terrible catastrophe."

The President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said:

"Japan and the European Union are strategic partners that share many fundamental values, strategic goals and wide ranging interests. The EU is determined to upgrade this partnership in a balanced and comprehensive way, covering both political and economic aspects, to deliver to our businesses and citizens. In particular, this Summit offers a real opportunity for us to provide the highest-level political impetus for the possible launch of Free Trade Agreement negotiations. I will also make the case for closer cooperation on energy issues, notably on how to best promote the highest levels of nuclear safety around the world, inter alia through the International Atomic Energy Agency."

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