The Second Meeting of the Japan-EU EPA Joint Committee
February 1, 2021
The second meeting of the Japan-EU EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) Joint Committee was held by video conference for an hour and a half on February 1st from 11:00 (Brussels time).
- The meeting was co-chaired by Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu from Japan side and Mr. Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for an Economy that Works for People and European Commissioner for Trade from the EU side, and attended by relevant members of the two Governments.
- The discussion was held based on the agenda (PDF) adopted by both Parties to ensure proper and effective implementation of the Japan-EU EPA which entered into force in February 2019. The co-chairs welcomed the entry into force of the amendments of ANNEXES 14-A and 14-B that refer mainly to the addition of 28 new names to be protected as GIs (Geographical Indications) under the Japan-EU EPA for Japan and the EU respectively as well as those of APPENDICES 2-C-1 and 2-C-2 that reflect the status of application of UN regulations on motor vehicles and parts after entry into force of the Japan-EU EPA.
- The co-chairs also exchanged views on the future cooperation between Japan and the EU to address issues faced by the international community, such as response to the COVID-19 pandemic, green, digital and the WTO reform. In addition, they coincided to engage in exploratory talks to reassess the need for inclusion of provisions on the free flow of data to the Japan-EU EPA.
- Furthermore, regarding the EU’s transparency and authorisation mechanism for exports of COVID-19 vaccines put in place recently, Minister MOTEGI asked for the EU’s support so that the EU’s measures would not affect the planned supplies of vaccines from European countries to Japan. Commissioner Dombrovskis replied that he fully understood Japan’s concerns and would make the utmost efforts to ensure smooth shipments to Japan based on the contracts with companies given friendly relationships between Japan and the EU. Japan and the EU will continue to cooperate closely on this issue.
- The co-chairs confirmed to continue close cooperation, in view of further enhancing economic relations between Japan and the EU, which will help maintain the smooth business activities of Japanese companies in Europe, including minimising the impact of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. Foreign Minister MOTEGI reiterated his request to the EU for an immediate lifting of import measures on Japanese food products that have been introduced following the Great East Japan Earthquake.