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Japan, EU conclude EPA

  • December 9, 2017
  • , All national papers
  • JMH Summary

All Saturday morning papers reported on the GOJ announcement on Friday that it has successfully completed EPA talks with the EU by setting aside the issue of a trade conflict resolution mechanism over which the two sides are still at odds. Prime Minister Abe, who confirmed the conclusion of the years-long bilateral free trade negotiations during a teleconference on Friday with EU President Juncker, told the press afterward: “We will create a trade zone based on free and fair rules. This agreement will become a model for the international economic order for the 21st century.” The two parties plan to sign the pact officially next summer for effectuation in 2019.


Japanese duties will be abolished on about 94% of imported European items, while the corresponding figure for Japanese imports will be 90%. The two sides will continue discussions on the issue of an investor-state dispute settlement system with the goal of concluding a separate agreement. The papers underscored the significance of the Japan-EU free trade deal, noting that the two sides are committed to promoting trade liberalization in the face of mounting protectionist sentiment in the U.S. and worldwide. Mainichi said Japanese farmers will be called upon to boost their competitiveness since popular European products, such as cheese and wine, will be imported at lower prices.     

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