July 7, 2017

Chairman’s Comment on Agreement in Principle on Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement
Hiroto Saikawa, Chairman, Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc.

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) warmly welcomes the agreement in principle reached on July 6 in the negotiations on the establishment of a Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Launched in April 2013, the negotiations on this free trade accord have been long and rigorous. We take this opportunity to express our great appreciation for the continuous efforts made in the negotiation process by the Japanese government officials concerned.

The expansion of free trade is of critical importance to the Japanese automobile industry, whose operations span the globe. Economic cooperation between the European Union and Japan is very significant, since together they account for over 30 percent of world trade. We applaud, among other things, the agreement on the elimination of tariffs on motor vehicles (including motorcycles) and on auto parts exported to the EU, thereby ensuring a level playing field for the Japanese automotive industry in the EU market.

JAMA looks forward to sustained efforts by Japan and the EU to proceed to implementation of the Japan-EU EPA as rapidly as possible. For its part, the Japanese automobile industry intends to supply a wider choice of products that more than ever meet the needs of consumers as a result of this milestone accord, which will strengthen the economic ties between both sides.

Finally, we hope that the consensus achieved on the Japan-EU EPA will help expedite the conclusion of negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) accord and the early implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, as well as encourage the expansion of free trade worldwide.