10 May 2011
Germany’s Merkel wants EU-Japan free trade accord after South Korea deal
By Associated Press
BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany wants the European Union to negotiate a free-trade agreement with Japan following a similar deal with South Korea.
Merkel said Tuesday that she expects to discuss possible free-trade negotiations with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on the sidelines of the upcoming Group of Eight summit in France.
She says that “there will certainly be some difficult negotiating issues — for example in the car sector and others — but we should take up this challenge.”
Japan and Europe, particularly Germany, are home to many of the world’s biggest automakers.
A tariff-slashing accord between the EU and South Korea is expected to take effect in July.