Kyodo | Wednesday, July 4, 2012
EU to delay launch of FTA talks
Negotiations between Japan and the European Union over crafting a free-trade agreement will not begin until this fall or later due to persistent reluctance among the European auto industry, according to senior officials at the Foreign Ministry.
The government initially hoped agreement would be reached in July to initiate the negotiations, as Japanese businesses have called for an early start in hopes of boosting auto and TV sales in Europe.
Japan and the EU largely concluded preparatory talks for launching FTA negotiations in late May. The EU is slated to begin necessary preparations later this month, but it is expected to take about two months for the two sides to begin the negotiations once the European Commission gets the approval of EU nations.
Strong voices remain among some EU members with big automotive manufacturers, such as Germany, France and Italy, that Japan has not opened up its auto market enough.