The Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Japan, signed on 17 July 2018, entered into force on 1 February 2019. At a time of growing trade tensions, this agreement sends an important signal for open and mutually beneficial global trade based on high standards. The EU and Japan meet regularly to discuss issues and best practices in the implementation of the agreement. Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Equal Opportunities, stressed that “data is the fuel of the global economy and this agreement will allow data to enter safely between us for the benefit of our citizens and economies”. As stated by the European Commission, “in the digital age, both sides reaffirm that in the digital age, the promotion of high standards of privacy and protection of personal data and the facilitation of international trade must and can go hand in hand”. To date, six important agreements have been concluded between the EU and Japan. It also contains obligations regarding compliance with multilateral agreements and ratification of International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions. Less than a decade ago, both Japan and the European Union were considered protectionist and the chances of signing a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) seemed slim. But here we are because Japan and the EU have ratified the world`s largest free trade agreement and exceed both the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in terms of gross domestic product (GDP). The EU-Japan EPA not only connects two economies worth almost $25 trillion; it sets the standards for twenty-first century trade agreements. The agreement clearly promotes the fight against climate change and includes measures to combat climate change.
It obliges both countries to implement the Paris Agreement. Delegation of the European Union to Japan:eeas.europa.eu/delegations/japan/56981/eu-japon-economic-partnership-agreement-epa_en The EPA was linked to the creation of an area for the security of data flows between the EU and Japan. On 23 January, the European Commission adopted an adequacy decision concerning Japan, which attests to the equivalence of its data protection standards so that the personal data of European citizens can be freely transferred to Japan. The Japanese Government has adopted an equivalent decision with regard to the EU and has brought to life the idea of a twenty-first century agreement. Companies can now move data between the EU and Japan, creating new opportunities for both digital markets. Analysis of the new strategic, economic and digital agreements between the EU and Japan. EU-Japan trade agreement, texts of the agreement in principle: trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1684 These three areas of agreement significantly improve relations between the EU and Japan, with global repercussions. While geography has distanced them, common values and principles have brought the EU and Japan closer together and defended them together. Negotiations were concluded on 8 December 2017. After the legal verification and translation procedures, the European Commission can then submit the agreement to the European Parliament and the EU Member States for approval. In order to raise awareness of the possibilities offered by this agreement and to help EU SMEs to use them, the EU-Japan Centre has set up a CEPOL helpdesk to help and guide EU SMEs in finding relevant information.
On 18 July 2012, the European Commission asked EU Member States to reach an agreement on the establishment of free trade agreements with Japan. The agreement also translates into greater reciprocity in access to public procurement and opens up new opportunities for many European companies, particularly in the rail sector. This agreement contains the main European principles of the right to regulation and high environmental and labour standards. EU-Japan relations are enshrined in two documents: the 1991 Joint Declaration and the 2001 Action Plan for EU-Japan Cooperation. . . .