About BRT

Background

The EU-Japan Business Round Table (BRT) was established in its current form in 1999 to foster communication between Japanese and European industries. It meets annually, alternately in Japan and in Europe, the BRT's most recent meeting was a hybrid one, taking place in Tokyo, Paris and online on 5 November 2020. The next one will take place in autumn 2021, in Brussels and online.

 

Who are the BRT's Members?

 

What does the BRT do?

The BRT's main objectives are to:

  • discuss issues of common interest;
  • review factors affecting trade, investment and other forms of cooperation;
  • provide an EU-Japan business perspective to both topical and long-term issues of public policy; and,
  • identify practical recommendations to the Authorities (and support EU-Japan official dialogues) so as to help develop trade and investment between the EU and Japan or together in third countries.

The BRT's recommendations to the Authorities take two forms - its annual 'Summary of Recommendations' 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:

The EU and Japanese Authorities' responses to the recommendations take the form of oral statements during the annual meeting. The Government of Japan issues formal progress reports to respond to recommendations submitted by the BRT in the previous year. (The European Commission issued similar progress reports up to 2017.)

The BRT currently publicises its work through its annual and ad hoc position statements. Previously it also published occasional press releases.

 

The BRT and the EU and Japanese Authorities

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has created a webpage grouping Japanese-language BRT references from its website. Although an official translation of that webpage does not exist, an English machine translation can be found here.

 

How often does the BRT meet?

The BRT holds annual meetings. It also organises occasional web meetings to exchange ideas and information on relevant topics. The next annual meeting is scheduled to take place in Brussels in autumn 2021. The 2020 annual meeting was a hybrid one, taking place in Tokyo, Paris and online on 5 November 2020 and addressing various topics including:

  • EPA Watch – Taking stock and highlighting the success of the EU-Japan EPA;
  • Call to Action – Raising awareness of new challenges and taking advantage of the EPA under the new normal of the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • Looking to the Future – Evolution of the BRT; and
  • Reflecting on the EPA, EU-Japan Business Collaboration in Third Markets, Digital & Green Issues (a discussion with senior representatives of the EU and Japanese Authorities).

 

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. +32 485 515 901
  • in Japan - tel. +81 3 6408 0281