Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida Meets with the European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström and Other Officials
From June 30 to July 1, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a meeting with Dr. Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade, who is visiting Japan, and discussed the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). In addition, over the same period, Minister Kishida and Mr. Yuji Yamamoto, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, met with Commissioner Malmström and Mr. Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, and held discussions on the EPA. The overview of the meetings is as follows.
1. For two days from June 30 to July 1, Minister Kishida and Commissioner Malmström led candid discussions on the Japan-EU EPA at the ministerial level. In addition to the bilateral discussions between Minister Kishida and Commissioner Malmström, consultations with the participation of Minister Yamamoto and Commissioner Hogan were held intermittently.
2. Based on the recognition that agreement on fundamental elements is within reach and that it is now time for ministers to exercise their political leadership, both sides engaged in constructive negotiations. While some progress was made during the negotiations, there still remain important issues that need to be addressed by both parties.
3. Bearing in mind the possibility of holding a Japan-EU leaders’ meeting on the occasion of the G20 Summit, the two sides agreed to continue to make their utmost efforts, including taking the option of Minister Kishida visiting Brussels and holding a meeting with Commissioner Malmström in order to realize agreement on fundamental elements as early as possible.