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Freddy Svane, the newly appointed Danish ambassador to Japan, said Tuesday that the freshly concluded 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement should lead to acceleration of free trade talks between Japan and Europe.

“I (believe) that the Trans-Pacific Partnership has to be followed by the economic partnership agreement between Japan and Europe,” Svane told The Japan Times during a courtesy visit to the newspaper’s head office.

He stressed that a delay in negotiations on the Japan-EU EPA would have a direct impact on current trade ties.

The 12th round of negotiations for an EPA was held in Tokyo in September, and the two sides hope to conclude a deal by the end of this year that would eliminate or reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers.

He said growth in economic and trade ties with Japan is a priority for Denmark’s economic diplomacy, and that he hopes stronger ties will contribute to growth and job creation in such fields as food, sustainable energy and green tech, as well as health and welfare technology.

Svane, who returned to the post in mid-August, earlier served as ambassador to Japan from 2005 to 2008.

He expressed his commitment to supporting “the quest of Japan under the leadership of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to be much more integrated in the global world, not only economically but also politically.”

Svane said that Abe’s financial assistance for refugees, amid what is believed to be the largest refugee crisis since World War II, was an important contribution but indicated it was not sufficient.

“It’s not only about growing the economy but also about taking global responsibility,” he said.

“I think each and every country in a globalized world would have to take its responsibility, because this is not a kind of isolated challenge, it’s something that we all have to face and deal with as a global issue,” he said. “If you want to play a global role, you also have to take part in the global solutions.”

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