Policy dialogues provide a regular forum for the EU and Japan to discuss a range of issues. Some of the key dialogues are listed below.
ICT Policy Dialogue
The ICT Policy Dialogue is a long-standing annual dialogue on issues related to information and communication technologies, encompassing trade, internet governance, security, regulatory frameworks, cooperation on research and development, and other pertinent topics.
The first EU-Japan bilateral cyber dialogue took place in autumn 2014, and covered respective cyber policy agendas, cybersecurity, cybercrime and international aspects. It also touched upon issues surrounding the norms, rules and principles for cyberspace, and capacity building..
EU-Japan Industrial Policy Dialogue
The EU-Japan Industrial Policy Dialogue is a forum for in-depth discussion on issues of mutual interest between Japan and the EU, covering competitiveness and industrial policy. This dialogue has been existing for almost two decades and it is particularly valuable as both Europe and Japan continue to be confronted with similar challenges, such as boosting competitiveness while addressing climate change issues, addressing the growing competition of third countries, improving energy efficiency, and which policies to adopt to accompany the digital transformation of the industry and enterprises. The Dialogue also reviews the work of the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation and the EU-Japan Business Round Table. The EU-Japan Industrial Policy Dialogue is the umbrella for five technical working groups that meet once a year before the plenary session. The groups are: Standards and conformity assessment; Automotive; Corporate social responsibility; Chemicals and Environment/Climate change.
EU-Japan Customs Cooperation
The EU and Japan have a long history of cooperation on customs matters. In 2008 they established a bilateral Agreement on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters. Its implementation is regularly reviewed by the EU-Japan Joint Customs Cooperation Committee (JCCC). To date, 8 meetings of the JCCC have been held, the latest in January 2017.
Both sides also cooperate closely in international fora, including in the WTO on trade facilitation and in the World Customs Organization (WCO) on capacity building in developing countries.
EU-Japan Steel Contact Group Meeting
The policy makers and the industry associations of the EU and Japan meet regularly to exchange views on the recent developments on steel markets and the regulatory frameworks. The meeting focuses on common concerns and trade restrictive measures introduced mainly by third countries. Through the steel dialogues, both sides continue to have good cooperation to find best ways to address the common challenges.
Industrial Dialogue on Railways
This Dialogue aims to promote cooperation and information exchange and to facilitate bilateral trade in the railway sector, including procurement and purchases by private operators.
Topics covered include greater transparency in procurement, exchange of best practices on market access and technical regulations and safety standards in the EU and Japan. The Dialogue also helps to deepen existing business contacts between the industries.
High Level Dialogue on the Environment
The EU and Japan share a number of concerns and interests in environment-related issues. The Dialogue covers a wide range of subjects, including issues related to illegal logging, Rio + 20, wildlife poaching, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES).
High Level Bilateral Dialogue on Climate Change
This annual high level dialogue discusses issues related to climate change, in particular common challenges in tackling global warming. The Dialogue usually takes place at the beginning of the year, following the outcome of the UNFCCC annual climate change conference.
Energy security and promotion of clean energy are key policy objectives for both the EU and Japan. To secure a reasonably-priced, stable supply of energy, both sides have a common interest in diversifying sources and types of energy, enhancing energy efficiency and developing renewable energy sources. We regularly exchange information and best practices in promoting open, transparent and competitive energy markets, and on efficient legal and regulatory frameworks that underpin a clean energy economy.
Agricultural Policy Dialogue
Takes place alternately in Brussels or in Tokyo, and includes a field trip. It aims to foster better understanding of the policy approach of each side, and agricultural trade irritants can also be discussed if needed.
Food Safety Dialogue
The European Food Safety Agency and the Japanese Food Safety Commission meet annually. A joint action plan allows for cooperation in a number of areas, with the ultimate aim of exchanging good practices on regulatory approval procedures for food additives.
High Level Dialogue on Fisheries and Maritime affairs
Regular discussions cover a wide range of issues on the multilateral and bilateral agenda, including an exchange of views on respective fisheries policies and maritime affairs.
The EU and Japan hold an annual macroeconomic dialogue co-chaired by the European Commission on the EU side and the Japanese Ministry of Finance (for fiscal and budgetary issues) and the Cabinet Office (for Japan's overall economic strategy). Major themes include an exchange of views on the global economic outlook and latest fiscal and monetary policy developments. There is also a regular discussion on the progress of structural reforms in both the EU and Japan.
High Level Meeting on Financial Issues
The annual EU-Japan High Level Meeting on Financial Issues exchanges views on the regulatory developments in the financial services sector. Topics include recent reforms affecting banking, insurance, benchmarks, derivatives, accounting and investment funds in the EU and in Japan. We aim jointly to enhance regulatory cooperation, recognising the importance of consistently implemented international standards and close supervisory cooperation, which would enable the EU and Japan to rely on each other’s rules.
Transport policy dialogues
Policymakers from the European Commission and Japan hold regular dialogues covering policy issues affecting all modes of transport (road, rail, air, maritime), in addition to exchanges dedicated specifically to transport security and maritime transport.
Competition Policy Dialogue
An annual dialogue on competition policy to exchange information and discuss recent developments. Both the EU and Japan also regularly take part in International Competition Network meetings, where officials from 114 national and multinational competition authorities discuss competition policy developments.
Under the 2003 EU-Japan Agreement on Cooperation on Anti-competitive Activities the two competition authorities inform each other of enforcement activities that might affect major interests of the other party, eg any merger cases or other proceedings involving Japanese companies. The Agreement also provides for coordination and cooperation of enforcement activities and allows for our respective competition authorities to request enforcement actions against anti-competitive behaviour carried out in the territory of the other party.
The ongoing Free Trade Agreement negotiations aim to further increase cooperation in this area.