RENGO and ETUC Release Joint Statement on EU-Japan FTA Negotiations

29 February 2016
The Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) –– the federation of national centers of trade unions in European countries –– issued a joint statement on the Japan-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations on December 17, 2015.

The Japanese government and the European Commission have held 14 rounds of talks since 2013 with the aim of concluding a comprehensive and high-level EPA at an early date. During that period, RENGO has been briefed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on progress in the negotiations, and has expressed its views on the issue. At the same time, RENGO has exchanged opinions on the issue with the ETUC, the chairman of the Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament and the Japan Contact Group of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).

On the occasion of the 23rd Summit between Japan and the EU on May 29, 2015, RENGO entrusted the deputy minister for foreign affairs with a written request to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (dated May 27) and the ETUC issued a statement on June 1 as part of their joint action. (See the May 29 issue of RENGO News.)

The ongoing talks on a Japan-EU agreement are speeding up following the broad agreement reached recently on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade agreement. In an effort to reflect trade unions’ views on the negotiations, RENGO and the ETUC have exchanged views on 1) transparency, 2) labour rights, 3) investment, 4) public services, 5) public procurement and 6) non-tariff measures as matters of their mutual concern and interest.

RENGO is determined to lobby the government and other related organizations based on the joint statement while continuing to cooperate with the ETUC.

For more on ETUC’s Press Release https://www.etuc.org/press/etuc-and-rengo-say-trade-deal-must-protect-workers