17/07/2018 - BRT Japan-side Chairman, Masaki Sakuyama (Chairman, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation) and Danny Risberg (Chairman, EBC in Japan, for the BRT's EU-side) represent the BRT at the ceremony to mark the signing of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement and Strategic Partnership Agreement.

Mr Risberg is on the far left of the second row and Mr Sakuyama is on the far right of the second row.


01/02/2019 - the EU-Japan Business Round Table issued the following statement to mark the entry into force of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.

A New Era for the EU and Japan Starts Today
Tokyo and Brussels, 1 February 2019

The EU-Japan Business Round Table (BRT) welcomes today’s entry into force of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The EPA will revolutionise the EU-Japan relationship; underscore free, fair and rules-based trade; facilitate trade investment; create new possibilities for growth and cooperation; develop new, high-level standards; benefit consumers; and have a positive impact on wider society.

In 2007, the BRT called for an Authority-led taskforce supported by business to explore the feasibility of an enriched EU-Japan economic agreement. The BRT has encouraged and welcomed every step in the journey, and congratulates the EU and Japanese negotiators on their commendable and unceasing efforts to achieve a comprehensive, ambitious, and mutually-beneficial high-level Agreement that will serve as a blueprint for future agreements.

Encompassing 37% of global trade, the EPA sends a strong message that stands for the rejection of protectionism and against market-distorting measures, whilst showcasing the benefits of openness, multilateralism, level playing fields, and inclusive societies. The BRT is convinced that the EPA, and other multilateral agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), further strengthen the case for free and fair trade.

This Agreement must be regarded as a ‘living agreement’ that advances and reinforces regulatory convergence, creates new opportunities for partnerships in key sectors such as circular economy and digital economy; enhances cooperation in international standards; reduces non-tariff measures; and furthers cooperation and establishment of frameworks for joint investment in third countries where EU and Japanese companies increasingly operate.

In order for the EPA’s potential to be achieved, companies of all sizes – including SMEs – must also be aware of the existence of, provisions within, and opportunities presented by the EPA. Public and private stakeholders must raise awareness of the Agreement and its inherent benefits.

The BRT will closely follow the application of the Agreement, will continue to submit its recommendations to the EU and Japanese Authorities, and would be pleased to offer its voice to the EPA’s various bodies and civil society dialogues.

The BRT is confident that the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement heralds a new EU-Japan relationship, and looks forward to representing the voice of business and industry in advancing this landmark Agreement.

For a bilingual English/Japanese PDF version of this statement, please click here.


EPA Helpdesks

EPA Helpdesk for EU firms - EU firms can submit EPA-related questions and access reports, webinars and fact-sheets to this helpdesk run by the EU-Japan Centre. The EU Business in Japan content on our website also provides general and sector-specific information about the EPA.

EPA Helpdesk for Japanese firms - Japanese firms can access a helpdesk outsourced by the Japanese Government to support Japanese companies interested in taking advantage of the EU-Japan EPA, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP/TPP11) and Japan's other EPAs. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) has an EPA webpage and a link to an EU-Japan EPA Kaisetsu-sho (manual) - 日EU・EPA解説書:日EU・EPAの特恵関税の活用について - together with other resources.


The BRT and the EPA

Since 2007, the BRT has called for a deep and ambitious EU-Japan agreement to help achieve the full potential of EU-Japan economic relations. The BRT welcomed the launching of negotiations on 25 March 2013, the progress made during the 18 formal rounds of negotiations and countless other formal and informal contacts and exchanges between the EU and Japanese Authorities, the 06 July 2017 announcement of an "agreement in principle", and the succesful conclusion of the negotations on 08 December 2017.

Now that the EPA has entered into force, the BRT will monitor its application and will seek to identify any issues with its implementation or indeed new areas in which the EU and Japan can cooperate more closely.

>> For more information on what the BRT has advocated over the years, click here.

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