TOKYO – The Japanese government highlighted on Friday the important contribution that the trade deal between Japan and the European Union will make to global free trade amid growing protectionism.
The negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreement between the Asian country and the European bloc were finalized on Dec. 8, and both parties are expected to join the signing ceremony in Tokyo on July 17.
The spokesperson for the Japanese government, Yoshihide Suga, said at a press conference that Japan and the EU are going to work jointly within the principles of free and fair trade despite the world’s growing tendency towards protectionism.
The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, are expected to participate in the event together with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The summit between the EU and Japan had been scheduled in Brussels for Wednesday, but as floods hit Japan in recent days and killed more than 200 people, Abe had to postpone the meeting.
The Japanese government spokesperson added that the agreement should take effect soon.
The deal between two partners that account for 40 percent of trade and 30 percent of world GDP is the largest trade deal that the European bloc has ever negotiated.