Keidanren chief calls for Japan-EU free trade pact

Monday May 21, 2007

Keidanren chief calls for Japan-EU free trade pact

(Kyodo) — The head of Japan’s largest big-business group urged the government Monday to strike a free trade agreement with the European Union to alleviate impediments to two-way trade and ensure a freer flow of investment funds.

Fujio Mitarai, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, widely known as Nippon Keidanren, told a news conference the proposed conclusion of an FTA "should be implemented."

"The European Union’s tariff rates on a wide range of Japan’s major products are higher than those imposed by the United States for the same products," he said.

Japan has so far concluded FTAs with Singapore, Mexico, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Chile, and has reached basic agreements with Indonesia and Brunei. Tokyo also recently launched FTA negotiations with Australia.

source: Kyodo