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About BRT

Background

The EU-Japan Business Round Table (BRT) was established in its current form in 1999 to foster communication between the Japanese and European industries.

 

Who are the BRT's Members?

The BRT's Members are senior executives from 50 leading European and Japanese companies - including two European SMEs: Cosylab and MIE Project - and business federations. It is co-chaired by Ben Story (Strategic Marketing Director, Rolls-Royce plc) and Masaki Sakuyama (Chairman, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation). It meets annually, alternately in Japan and in Europe.

 

What does the BRT do?

The BRT's main objectives are to submit recommendations to the Japanese and European Authorities so as to help develop trade and investment between the EU and Japan, and to encourage industrial cooperation in fields of common interest such as innovation, climate change, or industrial standards.

The BRT's recommendations to the Authorities take two forms - its annual 'Position Statements' which summarise the collective view of the BRT Members on a range of topics and the annual sets of recommendations prepared by its 4 Working Parties:

  • Working Party 1 - Trade Relations; Investment and Regulatory Cooperation; Financial Services, Accounting and Taxation
  • Working Party 2 - Life Sciences & Biotechnology, Healthcare & Well-Being
  • Working Party 3 - Digital Innovation & Mobility
  • Working Party 4 - Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development

The EU and Japanese Authorities' responses to the recommendations take the form of oral statements during the annual meeting. Previously, the Authorities also issued formal progress reports to respond to recommendations submitted by the BRT in the previous year.

The BRT publicises its work through its press releases.

 

How often does the BRT meet?

The BRT holds annual meetings. The next one will take place in Brussels in May and will address various topics including: Building on the EU-Japan EPA; Brexit; Circular Economy and SDGs; Digital Economy. The previous annual meeting took place in Tokyo on 20 April 2018.

 

What was the BRT's position on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)?

Since 2007 - a long time before the formal negotiations actually began - the BRT was in favour of the EU and Japan agreeing a high-level, comprehensive, equitable partnership agreement. It followed closely, and gave input to, the negotiations that led to the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, and issued a statement heralding its entry into force as marking a "new era for the EU and Japan".

 

More information

To consult documents adopted and published by the BRT, please either click the above links to see all the documents of a given type (e.g. all Working Party 2 reports, or all Press Releases) or view all the documents relating to a particular meeting in the archive of the "Annual Meetings".

 

Contact information

The work of the BRT is supported by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation which acts as the BRT Secretariat. For more details about the BRT please contact the EU-Japan Centre either via this web-form or by phone:

  • in Europe - Mr. Simon Craig Gray - tel +32 2 282 0047
  • in Japan - tel +81 3 6408 0281