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EU and Japan reach agreement on historic free trade deal

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EU and Japan reach agreement on historic free trade deal

Tusk - Abe - Photo The European Union

(BRUSSELS) - On the eve of the G20 summit, EU and Japanese leaders announced Thursday a political agreement on an EU-Japan free trade deal and closer political cooperation based on shared values.

The summit, attended by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with EU president Donald Tusk and Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, issued the following joint statement:

"We, the leaders of the EU and Japan, met today in Brussels to reaffirm the strength of our Strategic Partnership and to demonstrate our resolve to work together for peace, prosperity and a rules-based international order. We remain united by our common values of democracy and the rule of law and by our determination to promote together an open and fair global economy that benefits everyone. These are the foundations of our political and economic Strategic Partnership for peace, prosperity and a rules-based international order – serving to unite us bilaterally and also to make us stronger internationally."

The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement agreed in principle is the most important bilateral trade agreement ever concluded by the EU.

Speaking after the summit, Commission president Juncker said the agreement sent a clear message to the G20 meeting, which starts tomorrow in Hamburg, Germany, that the EU stands for open and fair trade, and that "there is no protection in protectionism."

EU firms export over EUR 58bn in goods and EUR 28bn in services to Japan every year. The trade barriers faced by European firms when exporting to Japan have historically make it hard for them to compete.

The agreement in principle on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement "will bring our two economies closer," says the joint statement. The agreement addresses issues related to market access for goods (including cars and dairy products), services and investment; procurement, including railways; non-tariff measures; protection of geographical indications; and intellectual property rights.

The Economic Partnership Agreement is expected to create new opportunities for European companies and jobs in various industry sectors.

It is the first to include a specific commitment to the Paris climate agreement, as part of a dedicated chapter on sustainable development. The Agreement, says the EU executive, sets the highest standards of labour, safety, environmental and consumer protection.

The leaders from the EU and Japan also today reached an agreement in principle on the Strategic Partnership Agreement - an agreement which, once in force, will provide a framework for an even deeper and more strategic cooperation.

Further information about the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement

24th EU-Japan Summit Joint Statement

EU-Japan trade agreement: texts of the agreement in principle

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