Tag Archives: EU-Japan

EU-JAPAN-DJIBOUTI in Gulf of Aden

Brussels 11.05.2021 The EU, Japan and Djibouti carried out a trilateral joint naval exercise in the Gulf of Aden for the first time on May 10. The exercise came after an EU-Japan joint naval exercise and joint port call on Djibouti last October, and after the adoption last month of an EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, which called for more such joint activities to promote maritime security in the region. Japan welcomes the Strategy as a sign of the EU’s strong commitment to its engagement in the Indo-Pacific. (Image: illustration).

Based on the scenario of an anti-piracy operation, the 10 May exercise involved EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation Atalanta flagship, frigate Carabiniere, EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation Atalanta maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force destroyer Setogiri, and Djibouti Navy and Coast Guard patrol boats. The exercise lasted approximately 20 hours and also included cross-deck helicopter landings, tactical evolutions at sea and a night-time joint patrol.

The EU, Japan and Djibouti remain committed to maintaining the rules-based international order, including through practical maritime cooperation on freedom of navigation and overflight, in order to secure the safety of maritime routes, protect the world’s maritime domain from all traditional and non-traditional threats, and enhance prosperity through peaceful and stable oceans. Together with other partners, the EU, Japan and Djibouti will further contribute to maintaining and strengthening the stability, security, prosperity and sustainable development of the region.

EU-Japan ‘strategic partners’ era

From December 2018 to February 2019 EU-Japan relations are set to receive a major lift with the signing of a new trade agreement and a strategic partnership.

Although EU and Japan already enjoy good relations, they have agreed to upgrade their partnership against a background of increasing international tensions and protectionism.

The proposed trade agreement will make it easier for European companies to export to Japan, while a planned strategic partnership will boost cooperation on common challenges such as security and the environment.

 

The European Parliament endorsed both proposals of the Commission during the December plenary. The Council will also have to approve both agreements before they can enter into force.

EU companies export more than €58 billion worth of goods and €28 billion in services to Japan a year, but the trade agreement will boost this even further by removing remaining barriers to trade. This includes eliminating 90% of tariffs on more than 90% of the EU’s exports to Japan. This is expected to save EU exporters about €1 billion in customs duties a year. In addition, Japan will recognise the special status of more than 200 European agricultural products from specific regions, known as Geographical Indications. Measures will also be taken to lower non-tariff barriers, for example by relying on international standards rather than specific Japanese requirements.

The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement sends a timely signal in support of open, fair, values- and rules-based trade at a time of increasing protectionism and an erratic trade policy by US President Donald Trump. This agreement also represents an opportunity for the European Union (EU) in the Asia-Pacific, especially since the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) regional free trade agreement, and helps promote EU values and high standards in the region.”  MEP Pedro SILVA PEREIRA a Portuguese member of the S&D group, said the agreement was being concluded at an important time:

“This agreement will foster not only closer bilateral economic ties, but also concrete cooperation on sustainable development like the fight against climate change. The agreement can, in addition, enhance coordination on multilateral issues with Japan and help shape rules for the global economy in line with our high standards and shared values of respect for human rights, democracy and the rules of law” the MEP added.

MEPs said they saw the agreements as possible models for cooperation with other countries.

It is the first EU trade agreement with a commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change and with dedicated chapters on corporate governance and small and medium-sized enterprises. The agreement also upholds the EU’s high standards on environmental protection, consumer protection, food safety and labour rights, protects public services and respects the right to regulate
Silva Perreira said.

The two agreements have been possible because the EU and Japan are like-minded partners with shared values of democracy and a common vision for global trade and cooperation… high standards and the readiness to address current global challenges should be the cornerstone of future cooperation agreements” MEP Alojz
Peterle said.

EU one step further in trade with Japan

Following the agreement reached today between the chief negotiators and endorsed by European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström and Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan,  the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe issued a joint statement  welcoming the finalisation of the negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and Japan.

“The finalisation of the negotiations on the EU-Japan EPA demonstrates the powerful political will of Japan and the EU to continue to keep the flag of free trade waving high, and sends a strong message to the world.  Beyond its considerable economic value, this Agreement is also of strategic importance.  It sends a clear signal to the world that the EU and Japan are committed to keeping the world economy working on the basis of free, open and fair markets with clear and transparent rules fully respecting and enhancing our values, fighting the temptation of protectionism.”

“The EU-Japan EPA is one of the largest and most comprehensive economic agreements that either the EU or Japan have concluded so far. This EPA will create a huge economic zone with 600 million people and approximately 30 percent of the world GDP, and it will open up tremendous trade and investment opportunities and will contribute to strengthening our economies and societies. It will also strengthen economic cooperation between Japan and the EU and reinforce our competitiveness as mature yet innovative economies.”

“We are confident that, once in place, this Agreement will deliver sustainable and inclusive economic growth and spur job creation, while at the same time confirming our commitment to the highest level of labour, safety, environmental and consumer protection standards and fully safeguarding public services.”

The EPA reinforces the EU and Japan’s actions on sustainable development and climate change, notably via a strong and unambiguous commitment to working together to implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement.

“With the finalisation of the negotiations, the path is now clear to complete the internal procedures leading to the signature, ratification and full implementation of the Agreement.”

Executions in Japan

On 13 July 2017, two executions were carried out in Japan, adding to 24 other persons that have been executed since March 2012. The European Union, its Member States, Norway, and Switzerland have consistently called on the Japanese authorities to adopt a moratorium on executions, recalling the period of 20 months before March 2012 when no executions in the country took place.

“We hold a strong and principled position against the death penalty and we are opposed to the use of capital punishment under any circumstances. The death penalty is cruel and inhuman, and has not been shown in any way to act as a deterrent to crime. Furthermore, any errors are irreversible. We will continue our active pursuit of its abolition worldwide.”

“Taking into account the voices of those who, in Japan and abroad, call for a thorough review of capital punishment and its place in the overall criminal justice system, we call on Japanese authorities to promote an open, public debate on this issue. Such a debate would allow the public to assess for themselves the evidence from other countries, including European countries, that an abolition of the death penalty can actually strengthen the capacity of judicial systems to effectively deliver justice, prevent irreversible miscarriages of justice, and meet with public acceptance.”

 

 

Abe for rapprochement with Europe

EU and Japan leaders are expected to announce a political agreement on the EU-Japan free trade agreement and the EU-Japan strategic partnership agreement.

The EU-Japan summit will take place on 6 July in Brussels. At the summit, leaders are expected to announce a political agreement on the EU-Japan free trade agreement and the EU-Japan strategic partnership agreement.

The EU will be represented by Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission. Japan will be represented by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.