Negotiating reports, impact assessments, meetings with EU Member States, the European Parliament and civil society Traditional trade relations between the EU and Japan were once marked by large trade surpluses in favour of Japan. This was an opportunity to highlight the importance of the Services chapter in the upcoming agreement. The focus was on the main barriers to trade faced by service companies (Japan Post and their discriminatory treatment over the years of bank mail, insurance and express mail, distribution services, legal services, residency requirements, regulatory burdens, etc.). Mr Duco Delgorge, President of the EBC, urged the European Services Forum to continue to cooperate with the EBC during the negotiations in order to bring our forces together and urge negotiators to adopt similar priorities and outcomes. Less than a decade ago, Japan and the European Union were seen as protectionist and the chances of them signing a Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) were slim. However, Japan and the EU surpass the world`s largest free trade agreement, surpassing both the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada and the comprehensive and progressive agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in terms of gross domestic product (GDP). The EPA BETWEEN the EU and Japan does not only link two economies worth nearly $25 trillion; it sets the standards for 21st century trade agreements. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced their conclusion in principle at the EU-Japan summit. Between 2009 and 2019, the EU`s trade deficit with Japan increased from 18 billion euros in 2009 to 2 billion euros in 2019. Preferential tariffs under the Japan-EU EPA apply to trade between Japan and the UK until December. Higher tariffs will come into effect from next year in the absence of a new trade agreement between Japan and the UNITED Kingdom, which would hurt Japanese exporters. Motegi expressed concern on Friday about the impact of the UK withdrawal on Japanese businesses and said a smooth transition was important for companies that see Britain as a “gateway to continental Europe.” The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) covers a number of sectors, from food and automotive parts to textiles and technology.