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The Second Meeting of the Japan-UK CEPA Joint Committee

October 29, 2023
Foreign Minister Kamikawa shaking hands with UK Secretary of State Badenoch
The Second Meeting of the Japan-UK CEPA Joint Committee

On October 29, starting at 4:15 p.m., the Second Meeting of the Joint Committee established under the Japan-UK CEPA was held by Ms. KAMIKAWA Yoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and the Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch MP, Secretary of State for Business and Trade, President of the Board of Trade and Minister for Women and Equalities of the United Kingdom of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the UK), who is visiting Japan to attend the G7 Trade Ministers’ Meeting in Osaka-Sakai, for approximately 1 hour.

1. Opening Remarks

At the outset, Minister Kamikawa confirmed that the UK is the global strategic partner, sharing fundamental values with Japan. Minister Kamikawa stated the implementation status of the Japan-UK CEPA, which is the cornerstone of the Japan-UK relations in the economic field, and stated that Japan intends to further strengthen and enhance the cooperative relations.

In response, Secretary of State Badenoch expressed her pleasure in visiting Japan for the first time, and stated that Secretary of State Badenoch intends to cooperate with Japan towards further enhancing business and trade relations between Japan and the UK, taking advantage of today’s Joint Committee meeting.

2. Implementation Status of the CEPA and Future Cooperation

Minister Kamikawa noted that the Japan-UK CEPA is being actively utilized, as evidenced by the fact that in 2022 the value of imports to Japan from the UK benefitting from the CEPA increased approximately 1.5-fold compared to the previous year, and that the value of Japan’s exports to the UK benefitting from the CEPA had doubled during the same period. The two ministers concurred on continuing their coperation to promote further utilization of the CEPA.

Regarding Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment, the two ministers concurred that both countries will build concrete cooperative activities that will enable women to fully access and benefit from opportunities created by the CEPA.

Minister Kamikawa welcomed the fact that, as a result of cumulative requests in fora including the Specialised Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, the UK had lifted import restrictions on Japanese food products, noting that the decision by the UK supports the reconstruction of the affected areas. In addition, from the perspective of the reconstruction of the affected areas, Minister Kamikawa expressed appreciation for the understanding and support from the UK for Japan’s measures relating to the discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea.

3. G7 Trade Ministers’ Meeting in Osaka-Sakai and the WTO

Minister Kamikawa expressed her gratitude to Secretary of State Badenoch for her contribution to the G7 Trade Ministers’ Meeting in Osaka-Sakai, and stated that they were able to hold a candid and meaningful exchange of views on maintaining and enhancing the free and fair multilateral trading system, with a view to the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13).

The two ministers confirmed that Japan and the UK will continue to work closely on WTO reform and the like, including the reform of dispute settlement system, to link the discussions at the G7 to the outcome of the MC13.

4. Procedures for the UK’s Accession to the CPTPP

Minister Kamikawa welcomed the signing of the Protocol on the Accession of the UK to the CPTPP in July, and expressed her expectation that the UK would bring its knowledge and contribution based on its long experience of responsible actions in the area of trade to ensure that the CPTPP remains a progressive and attractive framework.

The two ministers concurred on further strengthening solidarity among all Members in order to uphold the value and strategic significance of the CPTPP.

5. Cooperation on Addressing Supply Chain Resilience and Economic Coercion

Minister Kamikawa stated that, in a situation where the vulnerability of economic and trade relationships excessively dependent on particular countries is increasingly apparent, and in light of economic security imperatives, it is essential to enhance the resilience of supply chains. Minister Kamikawa also noted that G7 collaboration in addressing economic coercion is important. Secretary of State Badenoch concurred with those points. .

The two ministers concurred that Japan and the UK will continue to work closely together.

6. Closing Remarks

The two ministers reaffirmed the importance of Japan-UK CEPA and of strengthening economic ties between Japan and the UK, and confirmed to continue working closely through various fora including Japan-UK CEPA Joint Committee.

(Reference) Joint Minutes (PDF)Open a New Window

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