On 17 July 2018, Japan and the European Union (EU) signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that will remove EU tariffs on Japanese cars as well as the vast majority of tariffs on imports of European meat, wine and dairy products. If the agreement is approved and implemented by the Japanese Parliament and the European Parliament, it will open up huge market prospects for both parties: EU-Japan cooperation:ec.europa.eu/growth/industry/international-aspects/cooperation-governments/eu-japan_en Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan and the European Union conclude trade agreements representing 30% of the world`s GDP” of the Japan Times. For example, one year after the agreement came into force or two years after a political agreement, Japan will abolish a broad derogation from transparent public procurement in the rail sector (the “operational safety clause”). It was a central German requirement. In addition, Japan provides market access to allocation procedures for universities, hospitals and “city centres.” The latter covers 48 cities with a population of about 300,000, or about 15% of the Japanese population. European Commission Blog (2017) by Cecilia Malmstrom: Strengthening relations with Japan in times of uncertainty. April 11th. Available ec.europa.eu/commission/commissioners/2014-2019/malmstrom/blog/strengthening-ties-japan-uncertain-times_en October 12, 2017, Minister Altmaier: The FREE Trade Agreement BETWEEN the EU and Japan sends a clear signal against protectionism Marks S, Burchard H, Livingstone E (2017) Big in Japan: how the EU concludes its biggest trade deal. Politico, July 7. Available at www.politico.eu/article/big-in-japan-how-the-eu-pulled-off-its-largest-trade-deal-negotiations-tokyo-phil-hogan-cecilia-malmstrom-agriculture/. Access 29 January 2018 The EU-Japan EPA is expected to boost trade in goods and services and create many opportunities for EU SMEs: tariffs on more than 90% of Japan`s imports from the EU will be abolished as soon as the EPA comes into force. This will cover a wide range of sectors: agriculture and food, manufactured goods (including textiles, clothing, etc.), as well as forestry and fishing.
In addition, non-tariff barriers to motor vehicles, medical devices and “quasi-drug” sectors are expected to be significantly reduced.