EBC Newsletter – February 16, 2022

EBC Newsletter – February 16, 2022

From the EBC

Dear Friends of the EBC,

This past week, the EBC has been very busy raising awareness about the entry restrictions.

On 9 February, our president, Mr. Michael Mroczek, participated in a press conference on “How Strict Border Controls are Hurting Japan, organised by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Japan, with Christopher LaFleur (ACCJ), Marcus Schuermann (German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan), Matthew J. Wilson (Temple University, Japan Campus) and Filippo Pedretti (student at University of Padua/Ca’ Foscari University of Venice).

On the same day, the EBC president met Prime minister Kishida on the occasion of the handover of the EU-Japan Business Round Table recommendations.

On Tuesday 15 February, the EBC Policy Director, Mr. Bjorn Kongstad, talked on TV Tokyo’s Nikkei News Plus 9 on its BS channel to raise the issue of the entry restrictions. Other participants were Keizo Takemi, former Vice MHLW Minister, and Nihon University Professor Mitsuru Fukuda. The EBC made the case that European companies are suffering from the entry restrictions, although the effects are also felt by Japan companies as they may be dependent on said companies being able to bring in engineers. Therefore, Japan needs to, while still using appropriate health protocols, amend its border measures policies. Furthermore, Japan risks losing its attractiveness as a destination for investments.

Our Survey on the impact of the Entry Restrictions is still open until Monday 21 February. Don’t hesitate to participate, we need your answers!

The situation may improve as Prime minister Kishida is expected to give a press conference on Thursday 17 February to announce an easing of the entry restrictions and a change in the quarantine requirements. The EBC will remain vigilant on the real evolution of the situation.

Finally, if you are interested in trilateral business cooperation, the EU-Japan Centre is organising the EU-Japan Business Matchmaking with Africa 2022.

We hope you stay positive and healthy during this difficult time.

Valerie Moschetti
EBC Chief Operating Officer

Meeting with Prime Minister Kishida: EU-Japan Business Round Table delivers recommendations to Prime Minister Kishida

On 9 February, the joint recommendations of the European Union-Japan Business Round Table (BRT) were presented to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida by the two BRT co-chairs, Masaki Sakuyama (Senior Advisor at Mitsubishi Electric Corporation) and Philippe Wahl (Chairman and CEO of Le Groupe La Poste) who was represented by Michael Mroczek, Chair of the European Business Council in Japan, at a ceremony in Tokyo.

Adopted at last November’s annual BRT Meeting, the recommendations noted the key aspects of digital transition, decarbonisation and trade regulatory cooperation towards a more digital and greener future for both sides. They also underlined the importance of the free movement of businesspeople, which has been strongly impacted by the COVID pandemic with risks of delayed and cancelled investments.

EU Ambassador to Japan Patricia Flor as well as representatives from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also present.

EU-Japan Business Matchmaking with Africa 2022

The event is open to EU, Japanese and African companies interested in trilateral business cooperation in Africa, and operating in the following areas:

– Infrastructure
– Manufacturing
– Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
– Waste management
– Energy
– Healthcare

Date: 18 February 2022
Deadline: 17 February 2022
Participation: free of charge
More information here.

This matchmaking event takes place in the framework of the 7th EU-Africa Business Forum 2022 (EABF).

In addition to this matchmaking event, the EU-Japan Centre organised on 14 February a workshop about EU-Japan business cooperation in and with Africa to promote trilateral business cooperation between African, EU and Japanese companies for joint projects in Africa. Two hundred participants from the EU and Africa attended the workshop, indicating that this topic is of high interest.

What’s in the Media

  • Japan to ease COVID border controls, entry quarantine from March (Japan Today)
  • Japan 4th-qtr GDP up 5.4%, spending recovers as virus emergency ends (The Mainichi)
  • Japan to gather foreign worker data for better support (Japan Today)
  • Japan to review automobile emission controls in five years (The Japan Times)

Upcoming EBC Committee Meetings

Date Committee Time / Location
Feb 18 (Fri) Railways EBC & Web
Feb 18 (Fri) Automotive Components & Aftermarket EBC & Web
Feb 24 (Thu) Legal Services Web
Feb 24 (Thu) Human Resources Web
Feb 24 (Thu) Medical Equipment & Diagnostics Committee Off-site
Mar 11 (Fri) Retail and Wholesale EBC & Web
Mar 24 (Thu) Liquor Web
Mar 24 (Thu) Human Resources Web
Mar 24 (Thu) Telecommunications Equipment EBC & Web
Mar 24 (Thu) Medical Equipment & Diagnostics Committee Off-site
Mar 25 (Fri) Railways EBC & Web

If you are interested in joining a committee meeting, please contact the EBC to confirm the time and meeting place.

Stakeholders of the EBC:

European Business Council JAPAN
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