Agenda of EU-Japan Summit: Ukraine and Free Trade

Written by | Thursday, May 8th, 2014

The European Union and Japan called on Russia yesterday (May 7) not to further escalate the crisis on the Crimean peninsula and in southern Ukrainian cities. Brussels also warned that it would not hesitate to introduce a new round of sanctions if the situation in the country further deteriorates. The EU mostly aims to avoid additional violence that could endanger Ukraine’s presidential elections, which are scheduled to take place in late May. Yet, the surge in violence over the last few days has raised concerns in the international community about the possibility of a war.
In addition to talks on Ukraine, both the EU and Japan committed themselves to finalize their long-awaited free trade agreement next year. When ready, the deal will encompass about a third of the global economy. It is estimated that the free-trade negotiations between the EU and Japan could bring about 1 percent rise in economic output for both these powers while greatly deepening their mutual economic ties. The talks began in April 2013 but the EU was not sure about the readiness of Tokyo to proceed with such a deal, which is why negotiators have now been asked to pull the plug on the talks. After a year of mutual negotiations, Japan did not show any commitment to loosen its requirements in selected areas, such as food or cars.
EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said that he personally saw “no objections” to more talks between Tokyo and Brussels despite some dissatisfaction of EU carmakers who are as worried about the open trade in the automobile industry as their Japanese counterparts are. Nonetheless, the Japanese confirmed that despite the concerns and problematic areas, an early conclusion should be ready by 2015, which is the target date for an elementary agreement.

Article Categories:
Asia-Pacific · GLOBAL EUROPE

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