Strengthen Japan-EU relations in a new era

A special New Year column on EU-Japan relations written by our Managing Director Yasuo Tanabe has been published on the website of the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI). The following text is an English translation and excerpt of the column in Japanese that appeared in RIETI’s website.

The EU strengthens its decarbonization efforts with the crisis as a springboard
Given the EU and the world’s dependence on Russian energy, the EU has faced the classic energy challenge of fossil fuel energy security. Russia is the world's third largest producer of crude oil and the world's second largest producer of natural gas. Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, calls it a “global energy crisis.” The EU's Green Deal policy toward carbon neutrality by 2050 seemed to be stalled, but the EU took advantage of the crisis. It launched policies such as “REPowerEU” in quick succession, is strengthening efforts to break away from dependence on Russian fossil fuels (30% for oil, 40% for natural gas, and 50% for coal) and is aiming for energy independence. In the short term, the EU is returning to coal and will extend operations, but it is also accelerating the clean energy transition for energy independence and decarbonization.

Japan-EU relations entering a new era 
Since the Japan-EU EPA agreement in 2018, Japan-EU relations have been elevated to a new height. A Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) was also signed at the same time as the EPA. This is a confirmation of the strengthening of political relations between Japan and the EU. It is, so to speak, a pledge of comradeship as well as providing a basis for future enhanced political and sectoral cooperation and joint actions in areas of common interest.

To read the full text of the column, please visit the following link.
Original text here.