Japan and the EU agreed on Wednesday to try to wrap-up free-trade negotiations next year, as EU leaders met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met in Brussels for the 22nd EU-Japan Summit.
“We confirmed the importance of an early conclusion and 2015 is the target date for a basic agreement,” Abe told a news conference.
The Summit was the culmination of a nine-day visit of Prime Minister Abe to six EU Member States. The ongoing twin negotiations for a Strategic Partnership Agreement and a Free Trade Agreement, launched in April 2013, as well as the situation in Ukraine, were at the centre of the Summit’s agenda.
“The strategic partnership agreement will enable us stand together in many issues of common interest in the global agenda from security to climate change and energy. I believe when Europe and Japan stand together the chances of making things happen is significantly higher. The negotiation of the free trade agreement between two major players in the world economy is likely to be one of the most important trade negotiations in the years to come.”, said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.