Japan-EU Leaders Meeting
On Saturday, December 1, from 11:30AM at local time (11:30PM JST) for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, during his visit to Buenos Aires, the Argentine Republic to attend the G20 Summit Meeting, 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. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
1. Japan-EU Relations
At the beginning, Prime Minister Abe welcomed that the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was approved by the Committee on International Trade (INTA) of the European Parliament. Both leaders reaffirmed that it was extremely important for both sides to complete their respective domestic procedures concerning the Japan-EU EPA by the end of the year.
2. The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU
- (1) Prime Minister Abe appreciated that the Withdrawal Agreement (between the United Kingdom (UK)) and the EU and the political declaration concerning their future relationship were approved at the European Council on November 25, and that the process was moving forward towards avoiding a so-called “No Deal” exit.
In this regard, Prime Minister Abe expressed his expectation that the UK’s withdrawal process from the EU would proceed smoothly in order to minimize the negative impacts on Japanese businesses and the global economy, is minimized. He also welcomed that the European Council showed its determination to have a closest possible relationship with the UK after its exit.
- (2) In response, President Tusk and President Juncker stated that the EU is satisfied with the recent agreement.
Both leaders shared the view that the G20 should deliver a consistent message regarding World Trade Organization (WTO) reform toward growth of world economy. In addition, Prime Minister Abe requested the EU’s cooperation for the G20 Osaka Summit next year under Japan’s presidency.