The agreement removes the vast majority of the €1 billion of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan, as well as long-standing regulatory barriers, for example on cars. It also opens up the Japanese market of 127 million consumers to key EU agricultural exports and increases EU export opportunities in a range of other sectors.

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The Economic Partnership Agreement will also improve cooperation between Europe and Japan in a range of areas, reinstating their commitment to sustainable development, and includes a specific commitment to the Paris climate agreement. The agreement also includes a chapter on trade and sustainable development.

ECSA welcomed this signing, as ECSA’s Secretary General Martin Dorsman stated:

At a time that unilateralism and protectionism are rising, the EU and Japan are sending a strong message in support of free, fair and rules-based trade.

The agreement also contains obligations to maintain open and non-discriminatory access to international maritime services such as transport and auxiliary services, as well as access to ports and port services, ECSA added.