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Japan | Brussels, 6 July 2018

Commission welcomes Council green light for EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement

Today EU Member States in the Council authorised the signature of the trade agreement between the EU and Japan.

As a result EU and Japan leaders will sign the agreement at the EU-Japan summit that will take place on 11 July in Brussels. After next week's signature, the European Parliament is expected to vote upon it in the autumn. Once procedures are finalised both at the EU level and in Japan, the agreement will enter into force in early 2019.

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: "I'm very pleased that EU member states have now given their formal backing. The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement is the biggest and most advanced bilateral agreement ever negotiated by the European Union. It creates a free trade zone covering 600 million people and a third of global GDP. Together with our Japanese partners we are sending a strong signal to the world that we still believe in open trade and that protectionism is never the answer. The economic benefits of this agreement are clear. It will eliminate the vast majority of duties paid by our firms and simplify customs procedures across the board. The deal will open huge market opportunities for both sides. European agriculture also has something to celebrate, with access to the enormous Japanese market and protection for over 200 distinctive food and drinks, like Champagne and Parma ham. I now call on the European Parliament to approve this agreement quickly so that European firms, citizens and farmers can reap the benefits of this deal as soon as possible."

More information

EU Japan agreement in detail

Current EU-Japan trade relations