Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Brussels for EU-Japan Summit

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Brussels for EU-Japan Summit

The 26th EU-Japan Summit will take place today in Brussels. European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude

eu japan summit

Photo: Getty

The 26th EU-Japan Summit will take place today in Brussels.

European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will represent the EU, and PM Shinzo Abe will represent Japan. The leaders will use the time to assess the implementation of the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). As the world’s largest open economic area, the latter agreement, which came into effect on February 1, encompasses a third of the world’s economy.

It is demonstrative of a pivot from the previously US-centric order of world trade. Among other things, it lifts Japanese tariffs on European agricultural goods; the change is expected to greatly benefit European farmers and lead to a reduction in US agricultural exports to Japan. Paired with the EPA, the SPA, which highlights the importance of human rights and democracy, poses a threat to expanding Chinese influence, particularly as it relates to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. Moving forward, expect greater economic, cultural and even military cooperation between the EU and Japan as they look to uphold the liberal world order.

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