It seems that Japan’s recent visit to the European Union has met its objective with success. Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was in Europe for a six-nation visit to discuss the free trade deal, appears to have met all considerations by the group to continue their halted negotiations.
According to some European Union documents, Japan has nearly complied with all the required commitments to continue discussions in concluding a free trade pact that would impact a third of the global economy. Prior to Abe’s visit, the EU was already advised to discontinue talks, as Japan seems unwilling to budge on certain products including farm products and automobiles. Even the visit by U.S. President Barack Obama to Japan a few weeks ago failed to conclude negotiations, as he remains committed to protect local farmers back home.
According to a person close to the issue, “Japan has demonstrated it is as serious as any other of our trading partners.” He added, “We should allow talks to continue. If we push Japan too far, we will lose their confidence.” EU is expected to finally decide on whether to continue negotiations with Japan by May 23. Should the free trade be concluded, it will further cement Japan as EU’s seventh-largest exporter with the EU becoming Japan’s third biggest market. As such, it will be beneficial to both nations, which are currently striving to again make a stable economic foothold in the global market.