EU-Japan summit, Tokyo, 29/05/2015

European Council
  • European Council
  • 29/05/2015
  • Tokyo

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission represented the EU at the 23rd bilateral summit. Japan was represented by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The summit also marked the 70th year of the end of World War II in Europe and in Asia. it was the opportunity to reflect on the importance of reconciliation and regional cooperation and recognise the contributions that both Japan and the EU have made to the peace, stability and prosperity.

"We cherish the friendship and common values we have with Japan and we are resolved to take this partnership forward."

President Tusk at the 23rd EU-Japan summit

EU-Japan trade

The combined economies of the EU and Japan account for more than a third of global GDP. Japan is the EU's second largest trading partner in Asia. While Japan is a major investor in the EU, EU Foreign direct investments in Japan remain low.

In March 2013, the EU and Japan decided to launch negotiations to establish a deep and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Once in effect, this trade agreement could ('2012 impact assessment study for EU-Japan FTA'):

  • boost the EU's economy by 0.6% to 0.8% of its GDP
  • increase EU exports to Japan by over 30%
  • create 420,000 jobs in the EU alone

EU-Japan political and economic relations 

Leaders agreed to accelerate the negotiations for a strategic partnership agreement and a free trade agreement between the EU and Japan.

The EU and Japan are not only joining forces on trade, but also on the front of technology, research and innovation, with a new 5G agreement announced ahead of the summit:

Regional and foreign policy issues

The EU and Japan decided to enhance their security partnership, including a possible participation from Japan to crisis management missions. 

Regional issues, such as the recent developments in the EU's and Japan's respective neighbourhoods, in Ukraine and in South East Asia, and global issues  such as Iran's nuclear talks, the situation in the Korean peninsula, Syria and Iraq were also on the agenda.  

Leaders also agreed to step-up the cooperation on counter-terrorism between the EU and Japan.

Global challenges

International climate change negotiations  were discussed and Japan affirmed its intention to submit an ambitious target for its contribution to limit climate change.

They also repeated their commitment  to agreeing an ambitious post-2015 development agenda. 


Last reviewed on 10/06/2015