Telephone Talk between Foreign Minister Kishida and Ms. Cecilia Malmstrom, European Commissioner for Trade
On December 20, commencing at 4:50 p.m. for approximately 20 minutes, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, upon the request from the EU side, held a telephone talk with Ms. Cecilia Malmstrom, European Commissioner for Trade, to discuss the negotiations on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The overview is as follows.
- Commissioner Malmstrom stated that, at this rate, there were little choice but to continue the negotiations until next year, but it is necessary to finalize negotiations before elections taking place in major countries in Europe next year. She also stated that she would like to hold negotiations early next month to solve the remaining issues and to achieve agreement in principle as early as possible.
- In response, Minister Kishida stated that it is unfortunate that the agreement in principle would not be achieved until next year, but both sides should make efforts to realize it as early as possible, while focusing on the remaining issues and paying due consideration to each other's sensitivity.
- On that basis, Minister Kishida and Commissioner Malmstrom shared the view to hold negotiations early next month lest momentum of the negotiations should be lost.