Sun. May 29th, 2022
EU - Japan trade figures. Source: EU Council

On 12 May 2022, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will meet Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for the 28th EU-Japan Summit in Tokyo. It is their first such summit with Prime Minister Kishida, who took office in October 2021.

The summit takes place in the context of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, which affects both EU and Japan. It will give the three leaders the opportunity to reiterate the commitment of the EU-Japan partnership to supporting Ukraine. It will also be an occasion to build on the excellent cooperation in the common response to Russia’s aggression to further deepen the EU- Japan bilateral relationship across all relevant areas.

The leaders will also discuss other international challenges and EU-Japan bilateral issues, including security and defence collaboration through the Strategic Compass and the Digital Partnership. The EU-Japan discussion will also cover other items such as trade, the Green Alliance, the Connectivity Partnership and innovation and research.

At the end of the meeting, a joint press point by Presidents Michel and Von der Leyen and Prime Minister Kishida is expected. Moreover, the EU-Japan Digital Partnership will be launched, with a joint statement among the summit deliverables.

On 13 May 2022, in the margins of the summit, President Michel will travel to Hiroshima to visit the National Peace Memorial Museum.

EU-Japan Summit, 12 May 2022

Press conferences and public events by live streaming on Council live

Indicative agenda

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Tokyo time

Brussels time

10h10

3h10

Welcome by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida

10h15

3h15

Ceremony by Guards of Honour

10h25

3h25

Plenary session

11h15

4h15

Joint press statements by President Michel, President Von der Leyen and Prime Minister Kishida

11h30

4h30

Official lunch

Friday, 13 May 2022

Tokyo time

Brussels time

10h30

3h30

Visit to the National Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima

11h15

4h15

Statement by President Michel

11h30

4h30

Visit to the Peace Memorial Park

11h45

4h45

Meeting with Kazumi Matsui, Mayor of Hiroshima

12h00

5h00

Meeting with Keiko Ogura, atomic bomb survivor

 

Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine

The EU and Japan provided a coordinated response based on the strong partnership that has already been established. Japan acted swiftly at the beginning of Russia’s military aggression, adopting a number of restrictive measures in line with the EU and the G7 approach. Both partners have implemented sanctions against Russia as well as providing support to Ukraine.

The EU and Japan will continue working together to prevent the circumvention of sanctions, to fight Russian and Chinese disinformation and to take further steps to isolate Russia internationally.

During the summit, leaders will also discuss humanitarian assistance and the global impact of the war on energy and food security.

EU response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (background information)

EU restrictive measures in response to the crisis in Ukraine (background information)

 

Other international issues

The summit will give the EU and Japan the opportunity to consult on regional issues, including China, the Indo-pacific, DPRK and Iran. This discussion will further strengthen the EU strategic position in the area.

Multilateralism

The summit will also be an opportunity to demonstrate leadership in upholding multilateralism, including through reforms of multilateral bodies (such as the UN, the WTO and the WHO).

Bilateral relations

The summit will demonstrate broad progress in EU-Japan relations under the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Since Japan is the only Asian partner specifically mentioned in the Strategic Compass, the EU and Japan would also like to boost security and defense collaboration in order to reinforce the EU’s strategic role in Asia.

Another priority topic is the launch of the EU-Japan Digital Partnership. It will be the EU’s first digital partnership with any country, unleashing the great potential in the area to help ensuring a successful digital transformation that delivers solidarity, prosperity, and sustainability. The Partnership is based on a positive and human-centric vision of the digital economy and society and will contribute to enhancing this vision also towards international partners.

The leaders will also discuss the ambitious EU-Japan Green Alliance adopted last year, focusing on priority actions for its implementation. With a view to cooperation on energy transition, environmental protection, sub-national climate action, business and trade, research and development, as well as sustainable finance, the EU and Japan will work together on a strategic plan setting common priority actions, which is expected to be finalized by the end of July 2022.

Moreover, common areas for cooperation and new projects will be identified in connection with the Connectivity Partnership. In this context, the finalisation in principle of negotiations on an EU- Japan Agreement of Certain Aspects of Air Services (“Horizontal Agreement”) will be discussed, with a view to signing it before the end of the year.

In the area of innovation and research, Japan has submitted a letter of intent to be associated to the Horizon Europe programme. The association of Japan to the Horizon Europe Programme will further reinforce cooperation in this field.

On trade, the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has become the cornerstone of an enhanced relationship between the EU and Japan. As it supports open and free rules-based trade, the implementation of the EPA between the EU and Japan is key to strengthening cooperation, in particular in the light of the WTO reform.

Infographic – EU-Japan trade: facts and figures

Background

The cooperation between the EU and Japan goes back to the 1950s, when the EU was founded. The EU and Japan have been cooperating for 21 years under the Strategic Partnership Agreement.