On January 11. a notice on the Official Journal of the European Union stated that the Agreement between the European Union and Japan for an Economic Partnership signed in Tokyo on 17 July 2018 and approved with EU Council Decision 2018/1907 of 20 December 2018 , will enter into force on 1 February 2019.
Negotiations for the Strategic Partnership Agreement and the Economic Partnership Agreement started in 2013, and both agreements were signed at the EU-Japan Summit on 17 July 2018. On 29 November and on 8 December the two houses of Japan’s National Diet ratified the Economic Partnership Agreement. The approval from the EU parliament was signed in December 2018.
The Strategic Partnership Agreement is the first ever bilateral framework agreement between the EU and Japan. It will create an open trading zone covering 635 million people and almost one third of the world’s total GDP.
Among the key elements of the agreement:
- elimination or sharp reduction of customs duties on many agriculture products such as cheese, meat and wine
- recognition of geographical indication of more than 200 European agricultural products. These products will be given the same level of protection in Japan as they experience in the EU today
- abolition of tariffs on many industrial products, where the EU is very competitive, such as chemicals, plastics, cosmetics as well as textiles and clothing
- opening of new opportunities of trade on financial, logistic and communication services
The agreement includes a comprehensive chapter on trade and sustainable development; sets very high standards of labour, safety, environmental and consumer protection; strengthens EU and Japan’s commitments on sustainable development and climate change and fully safeguards public services