The EU-Japan Business Round Table (BRT) was created in 1999 and is made up of 72 CEOs / senior executives from leading EU and Japanese firms and business organisations, primarily representing large companies, but also representing 13 SMEs and 10 business federations, chambers of commerce or other organisations. Its co-Chairmen are Masaki Sakuyama (Chairman, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation) and Philippe Wahl (Chairman and CEO, Le Groupe La Poste).
The BRT's main roles are to:
- discuss issues of common interest;
- review factors affecting trade, investment and other forms of cooperation;
- provide an EU-Japan business perspective to both topical and long-term issues of public policy; and,
- identify practical recommendations to the Authorities (and support EU-Japan official dialogues) so as to help develop trade and investment between the EU and Japan or together in third countries.
The 23rd BRT annual meeting will take place in November 2021. Further details will be posted on the main BRT website in due course.
On 03 June 2021, the BRT co-Chairs issued a statement on the outcome of the 2021 EU-Japan Summit, giving their reaction to the outcome of the 27 May 2021 EU-Japan Summit and the content of the Summit's official "Joint Statement" and "Towards a Green Alliance" statement. English and Japanese versions of the BRT co-Chairs' statement can be found on the main BRT website.
On 5 November 2020, the 22nd annual meeting of the BRT took place in Tokyo, Paris and online. Entitled "EU & Japan - A New Way Forward", the first part of the meeting addressed three over-arching topics: 'EPA Watch - Taking stock & highlighting the success of the EU-Japan EPA'; 'Call to Action - Raising awareness of new challenges and taking advantage of the EPA under the new normal of the COVID-19 pandemic'; and 'Looking to the Future - Evolution of the BRT'. The second part of the meeting saw the traditional 'Joint Session with the Authorities' during which formal statements were given by METI Minister Kajiyama; Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market; MOFA State Minister Washio and MIC Vice Minister Yoshida. Social media coverage and articles about the 2020 annual meeting can be found on the 2020 annual meeting cuttings webpage.
During the meeting, the BRT's 2020 recommendations were formally submitted to Hiroshi Kajiyama, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry who received them from Masashi Sakuyama, BRT Japan-side Chairman on behalf of the Government of Japan:
On 25 May 2020, the BRT issued a position paper on the challenges posed by coronavirus, steps that it believes can and should be taken and ideas that could help rebuild the EU and Japanese economies.
English and Japanese versions of the Position Paper can be found on the BRT website.
The BRT Annual Meeting concludes with the submission of detailed Recommendations to the EU and Japanese Authorities on how they can promote trade, particularly focusing on recommendations for regulatory reform. Each year, the Japanese Government and European Commission react to the Recommendations. EU Commissioners, Japanese Government Ministers and senior civil servants attend the Round Table, to give oral reports and take part in a Q&A session.
The work of the BRT is prepared by the Round Table's working parties. Currently there are working parties on: "Trade Relations; Investment and Regulatory Cooperation; Financial Services, Accounting and Taxation", "Life Sciences & Biotechnology, Healthcare & Well-Being", "Digital Innovation & Mobility" and on "Environment and Sustainable Development".
As the Round Table's secretariat, the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation organises its annual plenary meetings and maintains its website.
For more information about the BRT see: http://www.eu-japan-brt.eu