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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 15 November 2013

21st EU-Japan Summit – Tokyo, 19 November 2013

On 19 November in Tokyo, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, will meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe for the twenty first summit meeting between the European Union and Japan.

The Summit comes at an important new stage in EU-Japan relations. Earlier in the year, negotiations were launched for a strategic partnership agreement aimed at developing dialogue and cooperation across a wide range of political and sectoral areas, as well as a free trade agreement that should address long-standing trade and investment concerns, unlocking further growth and employment opportunities. The Summit will review progress in the negotiations and inject additional momentum towards the rapid conclusion of comprehensive and ambitious agreements that will lift the EU-Japan relationship onto a higher, more strategic plane. The Summit will also be an opportunity to seek convergence of views and positions on key international and regional issues and to identify opportunities for the EU and Japan to work together to address these effectively. Themes include the world economy and trade, climate change, non-proliferation and developments in our respective neighbourhoods. Finally, the Summit will give political impetus to rapidly developing sectoral cooperation that will further nurture growth and employment in the EU and Japan. The two sides will notably strengthen their Research and Innovation Partnership, as well as moving towards dialogues on space and cyber security.

President Barroso said: "The EU and Japan are like minded partners and share common values and interests. Japan is an important stakeholder in the global order and an essential factor for global growth. Partnering to support global economic growth and stability will be two of the key objectives for the Summit. The negotiations underway on a Strategic Partnership Agreement and a Free Trade Agreement are a concrete demonstration of our special relationship and of our willingness to cooperate and prosper together. The free trade agreement alone could boost the EU growth by nearly 1 % and create over 400,000 additional jobs, with comparable benefits for Japan. The strategic partnership agreement will enhance our political cooperation and stimulate further our developing sectoral cooperation, including on research and innovation, energy and people- to-people links."

President Van Rompuy said: "A strong strategic partnership between the EU and Japan can make a real difference in working for international peace and security, promoting economic prosperity and upholding the multilateral system. Over the last years, the EU has taken important structural measures as part of its contribution to pull the world out of the economic crisis. Growth is starting to recover and the outlook is improving.

Building on this and our many shared interests and a common vision, we will want to move ahead with a new political and a new free trade agreement with Japan. The summit will help us inject sustained momentum into the negotiations to reaffirm our high level of ambition for both agreements. I look forward to discussing all these issues with Prime Minister Abe".

Further information

Delegation of the EU to Japan

EU relation with Japan

21st EU-Japan summit joint statement

Contacts :

Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen (+32 2 295 30 70)

Leonor Ribeiro Da Silva (+32 2 298 81 55)

Raquel Maria Patricio Gomes (+32 2 297 48 14)


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