In light of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), EU Ambassador to Japan Viorel Isticioaia-Budura held a press conference on July 5 at the Japan National Press Club. The ambassador indicated that the EU will steadily conduct the negotiations with Japan on an economic partnership agreement (EPA) that are now underway. He said, “We have reaffirmed with Japan the idea that we will conclude an EPA before the end of this year if possible.”
The EU ambassador explained that “the EU will proceed with the EPA negotiations with Japan while viewing the UK as a member” until the UK informs the EU of its withdrawal.
Regarding negotiations with the UK on its withdrawal from the EU, the ambassador pointed out that they “must be conducted in an orderly fashion.” At an EU summit meeting in June, the EU expressed its intention to be firm with the UK in the withdrawal negotiations. The EU ambassador emphasized that the EU intends to eliminate ambiguity by saying, “We don’t want them to underestimate our determination.”