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Delegation for relations with Japan (D-JP)

The European Parliament's Delegation for relations with Japan (D-JP) has held regular yearly meetings with Japanese parliamentarians ever since it was formed in 1979.

The delegation and representatives from the Japanese Diet have convened for a total of 37 inter-parliamentary meetings, with venues alternating between the EU and Japan.

Most recently these meetings have taken place in Strasbourg in 2017, in Tokyo in 2016 and in Strasbourg in 2015.

An evolving focus

Originally, trade matters and economic and monetary issues dominated the agenda of EU-Japan parliamentary meetings. Cultural, scientific and technological matters were also frequently mentioned.

More recently, political issues have come to the fore. The future role of the UN and its peace-keeping missions, international aid and security policy have become significant subjects for delegation deliberations.

Following the EU-Japan relationship

Throughout its history, the delegation has monitored the wider relationship between Japan and the EU.

Early milestones in the relationship include:

  • the 1991 EU-Japan Joint Declaration, issued at the first EU-Japan summit and intended to strengthen dialogue, and
  • the 2001 Action Plan for EU-Japan Cooperation, which included four major objectives related to peace and security, trade and economics, global and societal challenges, and social and cultural connections.

Since then, bilateral agreements have also been signed on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, science and technology, legal assistance in criminal matters, mutual recognition, anti-competitive activities and administrative assistance.

Two landmark agreements were concluded in 2018:

  • The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which came into force 1.2.2019
  • "Strategic Partnership Agreement" (SPA) which provisional application started on 1.2.2019

Parliament's perspective

While the Japan delegation follows the general evolution of the bilateral relationship, its members also bring the European Parliament's distinct perspective to their discussions.

As strategic partners, the EU and Japan will dedicate more time to issues of global concern, such as climate change, terrorism, or cooperation on development.