Japan and the European Union are making arrangements to hold summit talks in Tokyo in late March, to declare the launch of formal negotiations on a free-trade accord, government sources in Nagata-cho and Europe said Saturday.

The first round of talks on forging an economic partnership agreement between Japan and the 27-nation bloc, which together account for around 30 percent of global gross domestic product, may be held in April, according to the sources.

The European Union decided to begin talks with Japan on a free-trade deal in at a meeting of its trade ministers in November.