On 25 March in Tokyo, Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, will meet Japanese Prime Minister Abe for the twenty first summit between the European Union and Japan.
The summit will open an important new phase in EU-Japan relations through the launching of negotiations for a partnership agreement aimed at developing dialogue and cooperation across a wide range of political and global issues, as well as for a free trade agreement that should address long-standing trade and investment interests, unlocking further growth and employment opportunities.
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. This includes world economy and trade, developments in our respective neighbourhoods, climate change, sustainable development, clean and secure energy, and non-proliferation.
President Van Rompuy said: “Since the first EU-Japan summit in 1991, EU-Japan relations have expanded and diversified considerably. I am convinced that much more can be done, building on our shared values and interests. A stronger partnership between the EU and Japan can make a real difference, at regional and global level, in building peace and security, upholding the multilateral rules based system and promoting economic prosperity. These two agreements will give us the instruments to achieve that. I look forward to discussing with Prime Minister Abe the ambitious agenda before us and to working with him to ensure this summit will help us to advance significantly in our relations.”
President Barroso said: “The EU and Japan are strategic partners, like-minded global players and major economic powers. I am therefore glad that our relations will be taken to a new level with the launch of negotiations on a free trade agreement and a partnership agreement. The free trade agreement alone could boost our bilateral trade and investment relations and play a role in reviving global economic growth. The partnership agreement will further cement our political cooperation and stimulate our developing sectoral cooperation, including on energy, research and innovation and people-to-people links.”