Minister Kishida’s Meeting with Mr. Karel De Gucht, the European Commissioner for Trade
March 25, 2013
On March 25, for approximately 45 minutes from 14:50, Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida held a meeting with Mr. Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Trade, during the Commissioner’s visit to Japan. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
- On his opening remarks, Minister Kishida expressed his regret that the visit of the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso was postponed, but expressed his expectation that a telephone conference between Prime Minister Abe and the Presidents scheduled later today would be meaningful. The Minister also welcomed Commissioner De Gucht’s third visit to Japan, and expressed his desire to cooperate with the Commissioner in furthering Japan-EU economic relations, including promoting a Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
- In response, Commissioner De Gucht expressed his apology that the Presidents’ visit had not taken place, and he also explained that a solution has been announced to assist Cyprus.
- Regarding the Japan-EU EPA, Minister Kishida stated that promoting free trade is one of the pillars of Japan’s international trade policies. The Minister stated that Japan intended to strategically promote a high-level economic partnership with the EU that benefits both sides, in addition to EPAs with the Asia-Pacific and East Asia regions. In response, the Commissioner mentioned that the EU appreciated Japan’s cooperation to launch the negotiations and that a trustworthy relationship had been established between the EU and Japan. He also expressed his desire to continue to cooperate with Japan in realizing the early conclusion of an ambitious and comprehensive EPA.
- In addition, both sides exchanged their views on cooperation in G8 and OECD related issues.