EBC Newsletter – November 15, 2023

EBC Newsletter – November 15, 2023


From the EBC

Dear Friends of the EBC,

The EBC has had a number of interesting meetings over the past week, both in Brussels and Tokyo.

On 8 November in Brussels, we met with Eva Valle Lagares, Head of Unit, Marco Chirullo, Deputy Head of Unit and Thorsten Behnke at EU Commission DG TRADE Far East. The purpose of these regular discussions is to keep each other updated on our respective issues and priorities to help European companies on the Japanese market.

Michael Mroczek, President of the EBC Board, Marco Chirullo, Thorsten Behnke

We also had a chance to talk with Ambassador Yasushi Yamamoto, Deputy Chief of Mission of Japan to the European Union and to discuss with Kohei Nakamura, Minister, Mission of Japan to NATO and Chieko Tatsumi, First Secretary at the Mission of Japan to the European Union.

Michael Mroczek, Ambassador Yamamoto, Valérie Moschetti

Kohei Nakamura, Chieko Tatsumi, Valérie Moschetti, Michael Mroczek
On 9 November, we met DigitalEurope, the leading trade association representing digitally transforming industries in Europe. We had a productive meeting with Tsai-Wei Chao, Director for Digital Trade Policy & International Affairs and her team, Cristiana-Amira Cocis, Jonas Jütting and Joël Guschker, as well as Marco Canton, Senior EU Public Affairs Executive at Fujitsu, member of the organisation. We identified a number of areas where cooperation between the EBC and DigitalEurope would be beneficial in the coming months.

Tsai-Wei Chao, Marco Canton, Valérie Moschetti, Jonas Jütting, Cristiana-Amira Cocis

On the same day, Stefania Benaglia, Head of Foreign Policy Unit at CEPS (Centre for European Policy Studies), a leading think tank and forum for debate on EU affairs, received the EBC to exchange on the  EU and Japan defence & security policies and on connectivity. We will seek to develop interactions between our two organisations.

Valérie Moschetti, Stefania Benaglia, Michael Mroczek

The EBC also met again with Gunilla Fèvre-Burdy, Administrator, EU DAG secretariat, External Relations Unit at the European Economic and Social Committee. In July 2023, the EBC became a member of the EU-Japan Domestic Advisory Group (DAG) for the 2023-2025 mandate. DAGs are independent civil society bodies set up by each party under EU ‘new generation’ free trade agreements. They monitor and advise on issues related to the implementation of the chapter on Trade and Sustainable Development. The EBC DAG representative is our sustainability Committee chair, Stéfan Le Dû.

Gunilla Fèvre-Burdy, Valérie Moschetti

On 9 November in Tokyo, the EBC Food & Agriculture Committee and the EBC Liquor Committee met with DG Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI). The main topics discussed were quotas under the EPA, organic products and Geographic Indicators (GIs). The EBC reported that, while the situation has improved compared to when the quotas where introduced, there are still some inherent problems remaining. GIs are gaining ground in Japan, and work of the European Commission is appreciated.

On 13 November, EBC committee representatives engaged in a fruitful discussion at the European Delegation in Tokyo with European Commission Director General Gerassimos Thomas and EU Ambassador Jean-Eric PaquetStéfan Le Dû (sustainability committee / Asuene), Nikolaus Boltze (security and defense committee / thyssenkrup), and Yannick Borghi (materials committee / Alteo Aluminia) provided valuable insights into Japan’s progress and challenges in transitioning to a decarbonized economy. Director General Thomas briefed on the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), effective from 1st October, impacting industries exporting carbon-intensive goods to the EU. Later that day, EBC members participated in a seminar organised by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, facilitating a dialogue on the implications of CBAM for Japan.

To conclude, I would like to recommend the following events:

1/ What challenges do European and Japanese companies face to build more sustainable and responsible supply chains, and what solutions are they implementing? If you are members of the EBC, JBCE (Japan Business Council in Europe), Japanese and European chambers and embassies (including EU member states), join us online on 21st November to hear from officials from METI and DG TRADE and from four companies from Europe and Japan: Panasonic, Tony’s Chocolonely, Teijin and Maersk.
This event is co-organised by the sustainability committees of the EBC and the JBCE.

2/ On 14 December, the EBC will have its traditional White Paper launching event from 16:00 (venue to be confirmed). You will hear issues and activities from some selected EBC Committees. Please mark the date in your calendars, more information will follow!

3/ On 15 and 16 December, Gunma Prefecture will open its Yukemuri Forum for business leaders at Kusatsu Onsen, focusing on business opportunity exchanges.
Regional revitalization in Gunma Prefecture
Letter of invitation

4/ On 18 December, the Osaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry organises for overseas diplomatic missions and member companies of overseas economic organisations a conference (in English and Japanese) with a Healthcare Startup Pitch, a City Promotion presentation and a networking event

The EBC team is looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Valerie Moschetti
EBC Chief Operating Officer

What’s in the Media

  • Global medical and health organizations have called on world leaders ahead of U.N. climate talks to swiftly phase out of fossil fuels, saying climate change-induced extreme weather events are causing serious health problems worldwide. “A full and rapid phaseout of fossil fuels is the most significant way to provide the clean air, water, and environment that are foundational to good health,” they said in an open letter addressed to the United Arab Emirates’ industry minister, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, who will preside over the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. (The Mainichi)
  • The government has laid out 10 principles related to artificial intelligence, including “fairness” and “transparency,” in draft guidelines for companies and organizations involved with AI, according to sources. The draft guidelines were unofficially presented Tuesday at a meeting of the AI strategy council, an expert panel. They are expected to be finalized by the end of the year, following discussions by the council. (The Japan News)
  • Japan’s exports of agricultural, forestry and fishery products and other food items exceeded ¥1 trillion in the first nine months of this year, the fastest pace on record, government data showed Tuesday. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, such exports in January-September rose 5.8 % from a year earlier to ¥1,053.1 billion. (The Japan News)

Upcoming EBC Committee Meetings

Date Committee Time / Location
Nov 16 (Thu) Medical Equipment & Diagnostics Off-site
Nov 16 (Thu) Automotive Components & Aftermarket Off-site
Dec 1 (Fri) Liquor hybrid
Dec 4 (Mon) Railways hybrid
Dec 6 (Wed) Energy hybrid
Dec 7 (Thu) Medical Equipment & Diagnostics Off-site
Dec 11 (Mon) Materials hybrid
Dec 13 (Wed) Legal Services TBC
Dec 19 (Tue) Sustainability & Social Responsibility Hybrid
Dec 21 (Thu) Telecommunications Equipment 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:

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