EU and Japan sign landmark political and trade agreements

17/07/2018 - 17:28
News stories

The European Union and Japan leaders met today in Tokyo to reinforce their strategic partnership and sign two landmark agreements: the Strategic Partnership Agreement and the Economic Partnership Agreement, which creates an open trade zone covering over 600 million people and nearly a third of global GDP.

EU-Japan Summit, EU, European Union, Japan, Tokyo, Juncker, Tusk, Abe, trade, FTA

The 25th EU-Japan Summit took place on 17 July in Tokyo. At the summit, the EU is represented by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission and Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.

"Today is a landmark moment for global trade", said Commission President Juncker. "The impact of the Economic Partnership Agreement goes far beyond our shores. Together, we are making a statement about the future of free and fair trade.  We are showing that we are stronger and better off when we work together."


The Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Japan is the largest each side has ever finalised. The deal should bring quick advantage to both sides, opening European markets to Japanese car firms, and Japanese markets to European food exporters. It will remove the vast majority of the €1 billion of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan. The EU and Japan make yet greater claims for this agreement, hoping it can shape the rules of globalisation by enshrining high product standards that will become global. Beyond cuts in tariffs, the agreement includes chapters on antitrust, corporate governance and sustainable development.

The Strategic Partnership Agreement will deepen and strengthen EU-Japan relations from peace-building to denuclearisation, from counter-terrorism to effective multilateralism. It will also open up the possibility for cooperation in new areas, from science, technology and innovation, environment and energy, to climate change, security, disaster relief, and many others.

At the Summit, the leaders addressed regional and foreign policy issues including the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, the commitment to preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the Iran nuclear deal, among others. Leaders also confirmed the EU and Japan's joint vision and support to the rules-based international order with multilateralism, democracy, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, open markets and a global trading system with the World Trade Organisation at its core.