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Policy Proposals  Trade, Investment, EPA/FTA Japan-EU: Fifth sector-to-sector meeting held in Tokyo

14 June 2016

Japan-EU: Fifth sector-to-sector meeting held in Tokyo

Keidanren and BUSINESSEUROPE hosted the fifth sector-to-sector meeting at Keidanren's premises in Tokyo today, preceded by the reception on the evening of 13 June where we had the pleasure of the company of Japan's State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Junji Suzuki and ambassadors of several EU member states.

Being held in Tokyo for the first time demonstrates the strong commitment of industries on both sides to engage in regulatory cooperation. Today's dialogue focused on the progress that has been made thus far, as well as the issues that sectors would like to address through the on-going sectoral dialogue and the EPA/FTA.

At the meeting and the reception both sides welcomed "Joint Statement on the Japan-EU EPA/FTA" on the occasion of the G7 Ise-Shima Summit issued by the political leaders of Japan, the EU, France, Germany, Italy and the UK, reaffirming the leaders' strong commitment to reach political agreement on the Japan-EU EPA/FTA as early as possible in 2016.

Keidanren and BUSINESSEUROPE echo the above-mentioned G7 statement, and would like to emphasize the need for accelerating the negotiations in order to ensure that the agreement is both comprehensive and ambitious in scope. At a time of global economic uncertainty, this agreement provides a unique opportunity to create real growth for two of the world's largest economies.

In order to maximise the opportunities of the EPA/FTA, a strong chapter on regulatory cooperation would serve as a robust institutional foundation to make this a 'living agreement' in which continuous dialogue can tackle new issues.

Keidanren and BUSINESSEUROPE also call on the governments of Japan and the EU to work together and with other countries to develop international standards in order for societies to benefit from the best available technologies and products. In a world where everything is interconnected through the Internet of Things (IoT), country- or region- specific standards and technical regulations are stumbling blocks to growth. Current regulations and institutions do not necessarily reflect recent digitalization of economic and societal activities, and sometimes hinder it. Going forward, Japan and the EU should cooperate in this area so that regulations and institutions, along with standardization and cybersecurity are coherent at the global level.


Held for the fifth time after 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, the Keidanren- BUSINESSEUROPE Sector-to-Sector meeting gathered important European and Japanese sector associations for an exchange of views on NTMs and regulatory cooperation in the context of the ongoing bilateral Japan-EU EPA/FTA negotiations. At the meeting, each sector reported on what their sector's dialogue between Japan and the EU has achieved so far and the challenges ahead they have to tackle.

The meeting was attended by:
on the Japanese side, JAMA (Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc.), JCIA (Japan Chemical Industry Association), JEITA (Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association), JIRA (Japan Medical Imaging and Radiological Systems Industries Association), JPMA (Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association), and East Japan Railway Company,
and on the EU side, ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association), COCIR (European Coordination Committee of the Radiological, Electromedical and Healthcare IT Industry), EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations), Medicines for Europe. DIGITALEUROPE attended in writing.


Maurice Fermont
International Relations Department
168 Avenue de Cortenbergh
1000 Brussels - Belgium
Tel: +32 (0) 2 237 65 04
Asako Shimosaka
International Affairs Bureau
1-3-2 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 100-8188, Japan

BUSINESSEUROPE is the leading advocate for growth and competitiveness at European level, standing up for companies across the continent and actively campaigning on the issues that most impact their performance. We speak for enterprise in 34 European countries whose national business federations are our direct members.

Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) is a comprehensive economic organization with a membership comprised of 1,340 representative companies of Japan, 109 nationwide industrial associations and 47 regional economic organizations (as of 2 June, 2016).

Trade, Investment, EPA/FTA