Japan-EU Relations

July 16, 2016
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

On Friday, July 15, commencing at 3:35 p.m. (local time) for approximately 25 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister, held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and H.E. Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission during his visit to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to attend the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 11) Summit Meeting,. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1. Opening remarks

Prime Minister Abe resolutely condemned the recent heinous terrorist attack in Nice: He expressed the pleasure of meeting the EU leaders again following the G7 Ise-Shima Summit, and expressed his hope that Japan and the European Union (EU) will drive the global economy based on the agreement reached at the G7 Summit to implement all available policies.

The EU leaders expressed their gratitude for Prime Minister Abe’s condolences over the terrorist attack in Nice and conveyed their sympathy over the terrorist attack in Dhaka. On its basis, the two sides shared the view that Japan and the EU will cooperate in tackling terrorism.

2. The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU

Prime Minister Abe asked that the EU and the United Kingdom coordinate to clarify the prospect for their future negotiations in order to dispel the sense of uncertainty surrounding the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU and enhance predictability . The EU side explained that nothing will come to a halt legally as a result of the process of the United Kingdom leaving the EU, that this development will not change the Japan-EU relationship in any way, and that the EU will continue to be a trusted partner. The EU side also pointed out that all EU laws and agreements concluded by the EU with third countries will apply to the United Kingdom until the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

3. Japan-EU EPA

Prime Minister Abe explained that Japan will continue to make the utmost effort to reach agreement in principle as soon as possible during this year on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and the EU side replied that this is an important year for the EPA and the EU is determined to conclude it by the end of the year.

4. Situation in Asia

Prime Minister Abe mentioned North Korea’s human rights situation, includingthe abductions issue, and the situation in the South China Sea, particularly with regard to the final award that was issued recently in the arbitration between the Philippines and China, explained that it will be necessary for the countries concerned to comply with the award and he intends to coordinate with the EU to encourage the rule of law and the peaceful resolution of the dispute. The EU side explained that the EU’s statement on the arbitration between the Philippines and China is currently in the last stage of finalization, and the EU hopes to pursue further cooperation with Japan as a dependable partner that faces up to the global issues.

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