20th BRT Annual Meeting – Tokyo, 20 April 2018: "EU AND JAPAN – CHAMPIONS OF GLOBAL FREE TRADE"


EU and Japan – Champions of Global Free Trade

The BRT held its 20th annual meeting at the Conrad Tokyo

The 20th annual meeting of the EU-Japan Business Round Table took place at the Conrad Tokyo on Friday, 20 April 2018. It was chaired by Eric Schulz (Chief Commercial Officer for Airbus) and by Kazuo Tsukuda (Senior Executive Adviser at MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, Ltd.)

During the first part of the meeting, the BRT member organisations discussed four key areas for EU-Japan cooperation:

The BRT considers the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to be a cornerstone of EU-Japan relations, will create considerable opportunities for both large enterprises and SMEs, and is therefore a topic that the BRT will continue to address.

In consideration of the importance of the role that the digital and data economy plays in efficient, innovative, and sustainable economic growth for both the EU and Japan, the BRT selected Digital and Data Economy, Cybersecurity, and Blockchain as a discussion topic.

In light of the active and strong emphasis with which the Authorities of both the EU and Japan have included the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as integral elements of their economic growth policies, the BRT considered it fitting and timely to have SDGs as a Themed Discussion topic.

Regulatory coherence and regulatory cooperation are regarded as fundamental building blocks for the high-level trade rules that the BRT views as indispensable to the EU-Japan economic partnership. Accordingly, the BRT selected regulatory cooperation as a Themed Discussion to provide industry and Authorities the opportunity to foster public-private engagement on the topic.

The second part of the meeting consisted of discussions between the BRT and senior representatives of the EU and Japanese Authorities. The topics for discussion included regulatory cooperation, the BRT's 2018 recommendations and other issues of mutual interest.

The meeting endorsed a series of documents all of which will be submitted to the Leaders of the EU and Japanese Authorities in due course:



Other documents relating to the meeting include:


The event concluded with a drinks reception, including an address by Hiroshige Seko, Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry...

 ... and a formal dinner with a speech by the Ambassador of the European Union to Japan - Viorel Isticioaia-Budura


Handover of the BRT's 2018 Recommendations to PM Abe

On 16 May 2018, BRT Japan-side Chairman, Mr Tsukuda, and BRT EU-side Member, Mr Risberg, formally submitted the BRT's 2018 Recommendations to PM Abe. Danny Risberg represented Mr Schulz (who was the EU-side BRT Chairman at the time of the annual meeting) at the handover.

The handover was reported on the official Japanese Government website in English and in Japanese, together with a video recording and pictures from the meeting. The official Cabinet Secretariat twitter feed also mentioned the handover.

Handover photo © courtesy of Cabinet Secretariat, Cabinet Public Relations Office


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