Home > Highlighting JAPAN > Highlighting Japan August 2018 > Prime Minister's Diary

Highlighting JAPAN

The 25th Japan-EU Summit

On July 17, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held the 25th Japan-European Union (EU) Summit in Tokyo with H. E. Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and H.E. Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission. Following the Summit Meeting, a signing ceremony for the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) were held, along with a joint press occasion.

Both leaders signed the Japan-EU EPA and the SPA, as the culmination of negotiations that lasted more than five years.

Prime Minister Abe expressed his recognition that the signing of the two Agreements is a valuable and epoch-making event that will elevate the Japan-EU relationship to a higher dimension, and explained that amid widening protectionist movements worldwide, the signing of the EPA will vividly demonstrate to the world the firm political will of Japan and the EU to lead the world keeping the flag of free trade waving high. Prime Minister Abe also stated that, with the EPA as a foundation, Japan and the EU intend to maintain and develop multilateral free trade systems centering on the World Trade Organization (WTO), as champions of free trade. Furthermore, with regard to the signing of the SPA, Prime Minister Abe expressed his recognition that the SPA will form the foundation for further deepening cooperation between Japan and the EU, which share fundamental values, for maintaining and expanding the free, open and rule-based international order, and for leading to the peace and prosperity of the international community. Prime Minister Abe stated his intention to further strengthen dialogue and cooperation in a broad range of fields based on the SPA.

In response, President Tusk stated that Europe and Japan are separated by a long distance geographically, but politically and economically they could hardly be any closer. Furthermore, President Juncker expressed the view that the Japan-EU EPA puts fairness and values at its core, and it will set the model for the world.