Japan's imports of pork, wine and cheese from the European Union all marked double-digit growth in February from a year ago following the entry into force of a free trade deal, according to government data.

Pork imports saw the largest year-on-year rise of 54 percent to about 36,000 tons, followed by 42 percent for wine and 30 percent for cheese, according to Finance Ministry data released Thursday.

The free trade agreement between Japan and the European Union came into force on Feb. 1, with an eye toward eliminating tariffs on most reciprocal imports. The pact covers about a third of the world economy and over 600 million people at a time of increasing trade friction between China and the United States.