Barroso warms to Japan trade talks


European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso expressed hope Monday that broadening trade relations between Japan and the EU could revive their economies amid a long-term economic slump on both sides.

Barroso’s remarks to the Japanese media came ahead of a forthcoming announcement on the launch of formal negotiations for a bilateral free-trade agreement between Japan and the European Union.

Barroso is to visit Japan, where he will meet Monday with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe along with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.