Japan-EU Relations

December 2, 2019
On December 2, commencing at 4 p.m. for approximately 25 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a telephone talk with H.E. Dr. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. The overview of the telephone talk is as follows.
1. At the outset, Prime Minister Abe congratulated Dr. von der Leyen on her appointment as President of the European Commission. Regarding Japan-EU relations, Prime Minister Abe stated, “The EU is an important partner for Japan sharing fundamental values, such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It is my great pleasure that the relations between Japan and the EU have become closer than ever before through the Japan-EU EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement), which has entered into force in February this year, as well as SPA (Strategic Partnership Agreement). When I attended “the Europa Connectivity Forum” in September, I and former European Commission President Juncker shared the view to cooperate further in such fields as quality infrastructure. I would like to push agenda in these fields forward robustly with you.” In response, President von der Leyen expressed gratitude for Prime Minister Abe’s congratulatory remark and congratulated on Japan’s success as the G20 chair. President von der Leyen also stated that as Japan is an important partner for the EU, the EU is willing to advance concrete cooperation with Japan based upon the legal framework of the Japan-EU EPA and SPA, and emphasized that she would like to make efforts to strengthen the bilateral relations further in the fields of not only connectivity but also green deal, digital as well as security.
2. The two leaders shared the view to closely cooperate towards the next Japan-EU Summit, which is scheduled to be held in Japan.
3. The two leaders exchanged views regarding regional situations including North Korea’s ballistic missile launches and confirmed that they will continue to work closely. Prime Minister Abe sought understanding and cooperation on the immediate resolution of the abductions issue, and President von der Leyen expressed her understanding.

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