Statement by Mr. Yohei Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the Signing of the Agreement on Mutual Recognition between Japan and the European Community (EC)

April 4, 2001

  1. The Agreement on Mutual Recognition between Japan and the European Community (EC) was signed today after six years' consultations since 1995. I am highly pleased at this achievement, as I myself have been deeply involved in the process of reaching the agreement, including direct consultations with the commissioner concerned on the EC side at crucial phases of the negotiations.

  2. The significance of further developing Japan-Europe economic relations, which constitutes the two of the triple poles of the world economy, cannot be overemphasized. The agreement makes it possible to remove certain steps in trade procedures regarding four manufacturing areas (i.e. telecommunications equipment, electric appliances, chemical products, and medicinal products) which have been required in importing countries. I strongly hope that this will reduce the workloads of both Japanese and European enterprises and promote the trade between the two sides.

  3. This year marks the beginning of "The Decade of Japan-Europe Cooperation", and the signing of this agreement is a blessing for the future of Japan-Europe relationship. The Government of Japan considers this agreement as a symbolic example of Japan-Europe cooperation, and will continue to make efforts to further promote and develop Japan-Europe relations.
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