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Adopted on 21/01/2014

This own initiative opinion looks to examine the agreement already under negotiation between EU and Japan (being the third non-European EU trade partner) and in particular its economic, social and environmental consequences. This agreement is not only dealing with trade, but will have on societies expected consequences to be enlightened and taken in account by negotiators. The automobile sector, public procurement, services, agricultural and pharmaceutical products sectors are, among others, concerned.

The Role of Civil Society in the negotiation and implementation of an EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement


Yesterday's seminar at the EESC’s Brussels headquarters discussed strengthening EU-Japan cooperation, dealing with the common challenge of migration and the role of civil society in implementing the EU-Japan FTA. During the seminar, aimed broadly at strengthening ties between the EU and Japan on key issues such as trade and migration, the Vice-President of the EESC Gonçalo Lobo Xavier called for a representative delegation of Japanese civil society organisations to travel to the ...


In September 2013, the EESC decided to draft an own-initiative opinion (OIO), examining the Role of Civil Society in the negotiations leading to a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and Japan. This agreement not only deals with trade; it will have important economic, social and environmental consequences for both societies. The opinion will highlight these expected consequences, with a view to ensuring they are duly taken into account by both parties, during the negotiating process.


Now that the negotiations leading up to an EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement are progressing rapidly – due to the ambition to conclude negotiations before the end of 2015 – the members of the EESC Japan Follow-up Committee are working together with their counterparts to present a concerted position to the authorities on both sides concerning the inclusion of a joint civil society monitoring body. In order to further develop ideas and provide a space for exchanging views, i.a. by taking stock of existing civil society monitoring bodies.

28/09/2015 01/10/2015

As the negotiations of the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement are reaching a final stage, Members of the EESC Japan Follow-up Committee are preparing a mission to exchange views with Japanese stakeholders, about a possible joint civil society mechanism monitoring the implementation and the impact of the FTA.

From 28th September 2015 to 1st October 2015 EESC Members Mrs Batut, Ms Päärendson and Mr Pater will attend a Seminar organized by the EU Institute in Kobe on the impact on employment and skills development. On 29th September 2015, EESC Members will contribute to the Symposium held by the EU institute in Kyushu, entitled "the EU-Japan FTA/EPA – Source for growth and jobs".


The seminar is organized together with the EU-Kansai Institute. It aims to examine similarities and differences in the bilateral and bi-regional trade agreements each party is concluding with the United States, the TTIP and TPP agreements respectively, and to assess to what extent these negotiations will inform the future EU-Japan FTA/EPA.

In addition, one session will be dedicated to the topical issue of asylum and migration policies, and will look at similarities and differences between the two countries' approaches to migration.

9:00-13:00 Room JDE 63

In the light of the agreement in principle reached in July 2017 between the EU and Japan on an Economic Partnership Agreement, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)'s Follow-up Committees on International Trade and Japan are taking the opportunity to organise a half-day joint seminar. The seminar aims at examining the significance of the EU-Japan Agreement in the global context, reflecting on the role that civil society may play in the implementation of such agreement, and aims to assess possible challenges and benefits for different stakeholders (the business community, workers, farmers, consumers, etc.).

13/11/2018 14/11/2018
Additional opportunities for trade, investment and cooperation and Technological change and its impact on the labour market

Following the signature of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on 17 July this year, the EU-Japan Follow-up Committee organised a mission to Japan (Tokyo and Kobe) from 13 to 15 November, with the aim to continue to strengthen cooperation and ties between the EESC and its main partners in Japan and to prepare for the establishment of Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs) and the Joint Dialogue with the civil society in the framework of the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter of the EU-Japan EPA.