Japan and EU to hold EPA talks next week in Brussels

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Japan Times | 1 December 2017

Japan and EU to hold EPA talks next week in Brussels

(Jiji) Japan and the European Union will hold a meeting of their chief negotiators on the proposed economic partnership agreement, in Brussels for four days from Tuesday, sources in the European Commission said Thursday.

The meeting comes after Foreign Minister Taro Kono and European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstroem agreed during phone talks on Nov. 15 that the two sides will maximize efforts to conclude the EPA talks by the end of the year.

Malmstroem has expressed her intention to conclude a final deal by Christmas. Japan and the EU reached a broad agreement in the EPA talks in July.

The sources indicated that Japan and the EU will hold a ministerial session once an agreement is reached at the working-level talks.

The two sides are considering separating a proposed settlement mechanism for investment disputes from the EPA to move the negotiations forward, the sources said.

Japan and the EU remain apart over the mechanism, which is aimed at settling disputes between investors and the countries where they have invested.

source: Japan Times