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News article4 April 2023BrusselsDirectorate-General for Trade1 min read

EU-Japan trade surges 13% after catching up to pre-pandemic levels

Today, Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis and Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi co-chaired the fourth meeting of the Joint Committee under the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). 

The EU and Japan are like-minded partners who share the same values and are united in their response to Russia’s illegal aggression against Ukraine, and notably in their sanctions against Russia and Belarus.  

In the context of current geopolitical challenges, both sides held a strategic exchange, in particular on the topics of economic security and cooperation with the Global South.

The Joint Committee acknowledged the key role of the EPA in fostering bilateral trade flows and making them resilient: after quickly catching up to pre-pandemic levels in 2021 (€124 billion), in 2022 bilateral trade flows increased by 13.4% to €140.6 billion. Both sides discussed areas where market access could be improved, such as the import conditions in Japan for certain categories of EU agricultural products.

Moreover, they agreed on the importance of accelerating the negotiations on the data flow provisions to be included in the EPA. Free flow of data between the EU and Japan is an essential element for businesses, and it represents a major deliverable under the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, and in the Digital Partnership with Japan. 

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EU-Japan agreement


Publication date
4 April 2023
Directorate-General for Trade
Country or region
  • Japan
Trade topics
  • Negotiations and agreements