The European Council approved a mandate for the Commission to negotiate a free trade agreement with Japan. It also authorised the opening of negotiations with Japan on a framework agreement.
The agreements will be negotiated in parallel and will create a strengthened overall framework for the EU's relations with Japan.
Japan is the EU's seventh-largest trading partner while the EU is Japan's third-largest trading partner, with 3.6 % and 11 % respectively of each other's trade in goods in 2011.
The negotiating directives foresee a free trade agreement that would provide for the progressive and reciprocal liberalisation of trade in goods, services and investment, as well as rules on trade-related issues and the elimination of non-tariff barriers. The negotiating directives for a framework agreement cover political, global and sectoral cooperation in a comprehensive manner.
Thursday November 29, 2012/ European Commission/ European Union.