The latest EU-Japan summit wrapped up on April 23, with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda holding talks with European Council President Janez Jansa (the Slovenian prime minister) and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. The meeting came at a time when both Europe and Japan are facing an enormous combination of difficult issues, including rising oil and food prices, climate change, and the Tibet question.

Lurking in the background was the debate swirling over the foiled attempts by The Children’s Investment Fund, the Brit- ish-based investment fund known as TCI, to increase its share in J-Power, a move that was blocked by the Japanese government. The seemingly arbitrary nature of the decision prompted much negative commentary, including remarks by European Union trade commissioner Peter Mandelson that Japan was “the most closed investment market in the developed world.”

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