Motegi, French ministers agree to push EU trade talks


Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi has agreed with France’s industrial and trade ministers to promote free trade negotiations between Japan and the European Union.

The accord was reached Monday in Paris during talks Motegi held separately with Arnaud Montebourg, French minister for industrial renewal, and Nicole Bricq, minister for external trade. In late October, Japan and the EU are slated to hold a third round of negotiations on an economic partnership agreement.

Referring to the EU’s demand that Japan remove nontariff barriers, Motegi told the French ministers that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration is working on regulatory reforms as a pillar of its economic growth strategy.

He stressed that the envisioned accord would be beneficial for industrial revitalization, noting that a bilateral free trade pact with Mexico has boosted Japanese automakers’ production in that country.