Brussels, 27 June 2023 (TDI): The EU and Japan held their third High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) today, focusing on economic security. The meeting was co-chaired by Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, with Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yoshimasa Hayashi, and Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, Yasutoshi Nishimura.

Important outcomes of the meetings include digital trade principles, closer strategic cooperation, consumer protection and digital transparency.

EU-Japan Digital Trade Principles

The Executive Vice-President and Ministers concluded the EU-Japan Digital Trade Principles, establishing a common understanding on key issues of digital trade. These principles will promote an open digital economy without unjustified barriers, covering data governance, digital trade facilitation, consumer trust, and business trust.

Closer Strategic Cooperation

The Dialogue emphasized the importance of strategic cooperation between the EU and Japan in the current geopolitical context. They aligned their positions on sanctions against Russia and discussed bilateral and multilateral cooperation on economic security. Collaboration on tools like anti-coercion, export controls, and investment screening was highlighted.

Building Resilient Supply Chains

Both sides recognized the need to build resilient supply chains in strategic areas for economic security. They discussed the EU Critical Raw Material (CRM) Club, aiming to diversify sourcing and strengthen supply chains.

Strengthening the Rules-Based Order

The parties emphasized the importance of a successful 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in February 2024 to strengthen the international rules-based order.

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Enhancing Bilateral Cooperation

The two sides explored enhancing cooperation under the Joint Statement Initiative (JSI) on e-commerce. Concluding Data Flows negotiations by autumn was stressed, enabling the implementation of modern digital trade rules under the existing EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).


The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, in force for over four years, has been crucial to the EU-Japan economic relationship. It has served as the backbone of the trade between the EU and Japan.

Trade in goods between the two partners reached 141 billion euros in 2022, indicating strong and resilient trade ties.