The EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) – A framework to promote shared values [International Agreements in Progress]

Written by Enrico D’Ambrogio,

Diplomatic handshake between countries: flags of European Union and Japan overprinted the two hands

© mattiaath / Fotolia

The EU and Japan share the same basic values, including on democracy, market economy, human rights, human dignity, freedom, equality, and the rule of law. Against a background of increasingly assertive neighbours, they are also putting emphasis on security issues. The EU has adopted a Global Strategy placing security and defence as a key strategic priority, and conclusions on ‘enhanced EU security cooperation in and with Asia’. Japan has reformed its security policy, aiming at becoming a ‘proactive contributor for peace’. In order to enhance their relations, in July 2018 the EU and Japan signed a binding Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), along with an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), negotiated in parallel.

The SPA represents a framework strengthening the overall partnership, by promoting political and sectoral cooperation and joint actions in more than 40 areas of common interest. Once adopted, the EU-Japan strategic partnership will become more operational. The agreement will facilitate joint EU-Japan efforts to promote shared values such as human rights and rule of law, a rules-based international system, and peace and stability across the world. It will allow EU-Japan security cooperation to reach its full potential.


Read the complete briefing on ‘The EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) – A framework to promote shared values‘ on the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Figure 1 – Japan, its neighbours and territorial disputes

Japan, its neighbours and territorial disputes


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