Japan-EU Leaders Meeting
On May 26, from 5:50 p.m. (local time) (May 27, 00:50 a.m. JST) for approximately 20 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a Leaders meeting with H.E. Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and H.E. Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, in Taormina, Italy. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
1. Opening Remarks
The two sides welcomed the reunion at Taormina following the Leaders Meeting in March, and shared the view that they will hold frank discussions together with the new G7 members. The European Union (EU) side renewed its gratitude for Prime Minister Abe’s leadership and determination at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit.
2. Japan-EU Relations
(1) The two sides reaffirmed the utmost importance of reaching an agreement on fundamental elements of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) as early as possible. They shared the need to instruct their negotiators to continue to accelerate the negotiations as the agreement is within reach, as well as the view that they are at the stage of exercising their political leadership.
(2) The leaders also shared the view that ensuring a framework for free flow of data is important for Japan-EU economic relations and decided to continue the dialogue aiming at developing a framework for smooth mutual transfer of personal data with appropriate protection as early as possible.
(3) Regarding the negotiations on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, Prime Minister Abe requested due consideration for transparency and predictability to avoid adverse effects on economy including business activities. In response, the EU side stated its intention of providing as full transparency as possible.