Seoul-EU FTA progress has Tokyo worried, Keidanren in 'shock'

SEOUL (Kyodo) Japan is concerned about the impact of a free-trade agreement between South Korea and the European Union, the Korea International Trade Association said Monday.

The association said the results of monitoring the responses of South Korea’s trading partners also showed Taiwanese industries are expected to suffer serious damage.

The trading partners monitored include the United States, the EU, China, Japan and Singapore.

“The Japanese government is trying to play down the significance of the conclusion of negotiations on the (South) Korea-EU free-trade deal,” the association said in a press statement.

However, the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) took the conclusion of the South Korea-EU free-trade agreement talks as “a big shock” and called for Japan to quickly reach a similar pact with the EU.

As for the reaction in the EU, the European Commission is actively supporting the free-trade talks with South Korea, while auto industries are complaining about it.

After a summit in Stockholm on July 13, South Korean President Lee Myung Bak and Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt of Sweden, the current chair of the European Union, announced the conclusion of negotiations for the FTA.

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