The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) held the first meeting of a headquarters named “Headquarters for Japan EU Economic Partnership Agreement” on June 9, which has been newly set up to cope with ongoing negotiations between Japan and the European Union, while the Japanese government is aiming at a broad agreement with EU in early July.
The Headquarters plans to establish LDP’s policy on measures to be taken for possible results of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) talks with EU.
The LDP’s policy, including countermeasures against negative impacts on domestic agriculture, is to be proposed to the government by the end of June.
Within the Headquarters, five groups of LDP’ Diet members have been organized to respectively handle matters regarding diplomacy, internal affairs and finance, welfare and labor, agricultural, fishery and forestry, and economic industry.
At the meeting held on June 9, Shinjiro Koizumi, director of LDP’s Agriculture and Forestry Division and a representative of the Headquarters’ group of agriculture, forestry and fishery as well, expressed his great interest to increase exports of Japanese products to European markets, saying “We are also required to find out how we can pave the way for boosting exports of our agricultural, forestry and fishery products to European countries by removing EU’s trade barriers through the current EPA negotiations.”
Fumio Kishida, Minister of Foreign Affairs, told the LDP Diet members attending at the meeting that Japanese negotiators will join the talks with EU taking into account the LDP’s policy to be prepared by the Headquarters, saying “It is vital for the government to reach a broad agreement on EPA with EU as early as possible. At the same time, however, our government will have to fully respect the proposals to be made on the LDP’s policy by the Headquarters.”