Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi co-chaired on 25 March 2022 (videoconference) the third Joint Committee established under the EPA. 2022 marks three years since the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has been in force. Over this period, it has proven to be the bedrock of the EU-Japan economic relationship and in 2021, trade in goods between the two partners recovered to pre-pandemic levels reaching 125 billion euros. Besides strong trade and investment ties, the EU and Japan confirmed during the Committee that they would continue cooperating on energy security, including through investment in renewable energy capacities. The EU and Japan are also committed to international solidarity in their response to the pandemic. Japan is the number one destination for EU-made Covid-19 vaccines with around 340 million doses imported so far. Moreover, the Joint Committee discussed ongoing cooperation on trade and investment matters and areas where market access could be improved, such as the import conditions in Japan for certain categories of EU agricultural products.
Protection of traditional food
The EPA has already been protecting 239 EU and 84 Japanese geographical indications (GIs) from imitation and usurpation in the EU and Japan, bringing mutual trade benefits and introducing consumers to guaranteed, authentic products from two regions with a rich culinary and cultural tradition. Since 1 February 2022, the EU and Japan protect additional 28 GIs for each side, such as Pimentón de la Vera spice, Pecorino Sardo cheese, Yoshikawa Eggplant and Nissato green onion.
Published: April 2023