April 23, 2008

Progress in liberalization of the world economy has accelerated movement of goods and services across borders. In this context, reaffirming and having due regard for their WTO commitments, Japan and the EU will work towards strengthening, at international and bilateral levels, cooperation on consumer safety and protection in the following fields:

1. Safety of food

Given the emergence of new risks and development of technology on food safety in a globalised economy, Japan and the EU will explore possibilities for strengthening reciprocal exchange of information on food safety, while also making best use of multilateral frameworks and organizations. Particular emphasis will be given to serious incidents of mutual interest.

2. Safety of non-food products

Facing many similar challenges, Japan and the EU will explore possibilities for strengthening cooperation and reciprocal information sharing on non-food product safety to prevent proliferation of hazardous goods, making best use of multilateral frameworks and organizations. In particular, exchange of information should focus on non-food product safety policies as well as on publicly available information on recent major recalls and withdrawals from the market of dangerous non-food products, including those imported from the third countries, triggered by accidents or by market surveillance and monitoring activities in Japan and the EU.

3. Creating an environment for safe international trade

Japan and the EU recognize the importance of ensuring a smooth but also a secure and safe flow of goods across borders and will strive together towards this goal bilaterally and by making best use of the relevant multilateral frameworks and organizations.

In the customs field, both sides consider that the "EC-Japan Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters", which entered into force on 1 February 2008, provides a solid legal framework on the one hand to promote trade facilitation for reliable traders, and on the other hand to improve the fight against fraud and to enhance cooperation on the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR). In this framework, customs authorities of both sides will work closely, in particular, for achieving mutual recognition of their Authorised Economic Operator Programs and security measures as well as for exploring means of establishing similar approaches towards the protection of IPR.

Additionally on IPR protection, both sides would also like to reaffirm their willingness to further cooperate by sharing information on counterfeiting in third countries, via the network envisaged within the framework of the "Japan-EU Action Plan on IPR protection and enforcement".

4. Security of networks and ICT usages

Taking into account the greater dependence of citizens and consumers on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as an enabling infrastructure of economic activities and social life, Japan and the EU will work together to strengthen the security of networks and ICT usages, by coping with threats such as cyber attacks and computer incidents, fraud, illegal, unsolicited e-mail and phishing, and the risks faced by younger users deriving from the use of internet and other communication technologies and by improving security of critical information infrastructure, in particular of telecommunications.

In this regard and building on the 2004 EU-Japan Joint Statement on cooperation on ICT, they will promote exchange of information and discussions on relevant policies and cooperation, at the bilateral level and in the relevant international organizations and frameworks.

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