Why has the EU negotiated a trade deal with Japan?

Why has the EU negotiated a trade deal with Japan?

The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement opens up the Japanese market to European businesses, safeguards the continent’s unique food and drink products, and guarantees high standards on food safety and the environment.

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It also sends a message that there is no protection in protectionism. In the long term, imposing high prices on imports only drives up costs for consumers and European companies trying to make quality goods. By cutting tariffs on clothes, agricultural goods and other products, this trade agreement will grow the more than 600,000 jobs in the EU already linked to exports to Japan.

In July 2017, when the deal was agreed in principle, Japan was the world's third largest consumer market, but only Europe's seventh biggest export market. This is expected to change. In the five years since the EU-South Korea trade deal was put in place, for example, EU exports there have increased by 55%.