The EU-Japan Business Round Table took place on 28 and 29 April 2011 in Rome, under the co-chairmanship of Messrs. Jean-Yves Le Gall (Chairman & CEO, Arianespace) and Hiromasa Yonekura (Representative Director and Chairman, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.).
It had the honour of welcoming Mr. Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr. Chiaki Takahashi, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Hideichi Okada, the METI Vice-Minister for International Affairs. During its meeting, the BRT agreed a set of specific recommendations covering a wide range of topics, to be handed over to President Herman Van Rompuy, President José Manuel Barroso and Prime Minister Naoto Kan at the next annual EU-Japan Summit.
The meeting took place at an exceptional time, only a short period after the earthquake that struck Japan on 11 March 2011 and the tragedy that followed. BRT members expressed their deepest condolences to the victims of this tragedy, and reaffirmed their confidence that under the leadership of the Japanese Government, and with the full support and solidarity of the international community, Japan will soon recover from this hardship.
At the meeting, European and Japanese members of the BRT set out their recommendations to the EU and Japanese Authorities, to strengthen further EU-Japan economic relations.
With the current 10 year EU-Japan Action Plan lapsing in 2011, they wished to contribute positively to the Authorities’ reflections on the future framework for EU-Japan economic relations in order to promote an ambitious expansion of trade and investment between the EU and Japan.
As part of its call for a significant increase in R&D and business cooperation between the EU and Japan, the Round Table identified practical examples of current and potential cooperation projects in areas such as innovation, energy and green technologies.