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Abe, Merkel confirm agreement on Japan-EU EPA in 2015

  • 2015-03-10 15:00:00
  • , Nikkei
  • Translation

(Nikkei: March 10, 2015 – p. 3)

 

 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed on a policy of aiming at a broad agreement on an economic partnership agreement (EPA) between Japan and the European Union before the end of 2015. Japan and the EU have carried out talks on the EPA. Germany and France are tough negotiators. The German auto industry is concerned about tariff reductions. Germany and other EU member countries have called for Japan’s reform in such areas as procurement in the railway sector, claiming that Japan’s non-tariff barriers are high. The agreement between Abe and Merkel will give a boost to the entire EPA talks between Japan and the EU.

 

 There are gaps between the views of Japan and Germany in the battle against global warming. Merkel urged Abe to formulate for Japan targets for dealing with global warming after 2020 when the Kyoto Protocol expires, saying, “When will Japan compile its targets?” The EU has set targets but Japan has yet to do so.

 

 After the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant accident in 2011, Merkel switched to a policy of aiming at breaking away from nuclear energy. Asked by a German correspondent at a press conference, “Why doesn’t Japan exit from nuclear power generation,” Abe said, “I must fulfill the responsibility to provide the public with cheap stable energy.”

 

 At his summit with Merkel, Abe explained “Abenomics.” Germany shuns Japan’s economic policy of involving large-scale monetary relaxation and fiscal spending. (Slightly abridged)

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