EU and Japan must work together in shaping a prosperous international order
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EU and Japan must work together in shaping a prosperous international order

Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs call on the EU to deepen and broaden its partnership with one of its most trusted partners, in a report adopted on Thursday.

The EU-Japan relationship is one of exceptionally like-minded partners, built on a solid basis of shared values, democracy, free trade, common goals and mutually compatible interests, according to the report adopted by 42 votes in favour, 4 against and 1 abstention. MEPs point out that this partnership, representing almost 25% of global GDP, can and should play an important role in helping to shape a rules-based, inclusive, just and prosperous international order.

Security: vigilant, but trying to reduce frictions

MEPs stress they strongly appreciate Japan’s robust and unwavering support including USD 7.6 billion of financial assistance and grant aid for Ukraine in support of its self-defence against Russia’s war of aggression. They welcome Japan’s adoption of a wide range of sanctions against Russia. Moscow’s and Beijing’s teaming up in their territorial disputes with Japan and Southeast Asian countries raises concerns, say MEPs, who express support for the EU’s clear commitment to efforts to uphold peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific, particularly in the South China Sea, the East China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, as well as promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific. Underlining the importance of vigilance, MEPs welcome at the same time any Japanese effort to stabilise diplomatic relations with China in order to reduce friction.

Cooperation in relations with the Global South

MEPs urge the EU and Japan to strengthen cooperation in developing more balanced relations with countries from the Global South, emphasising the importance of implementing climate change policy financing, sustainable and free trade, and a fair international energy transition. The EU’s Global Gateway Initiative should play an important role in this, say MEPs.

Strengthening cooperation in science, research and innovation

They share Japan’s emphasis on economic security and resilience and regret the country’s reluctance to participate in Horizon Europe. Japan joining Horizon Europe would be mutually beneficial as it is of mutual interest to strengthen cooperation and increase financing of science, research and innovation, MEPs conclude.