Secretive EU-Japan trade deal to be finalised away from public eye
March 21, 2017 Brussels/Tokyo
Joint civil society statement on the Eu-Japan free trade agreement
We, the undersigned civil society organisations from Japan and Europe, hereby express our deep concern about the EU-Japan Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (JEFTA).
In the EU and Japan, the lack of public scrutiny and accountability of trade deals is fuelling public distrust.
Yet since March 2013, the European Union and the Japanese government have been negotiating a deep and comprehensive trade agreement which would cover a third of the world’s GDP. The 18th round of negotiations took place in Tokyo in December 2016, and whilst the negotiations might come to a close soon, on the EU side, the mandate given to the negotiators is still not public, and on the Japanese side, secrecy is total.
Little is known, despite the many legitimate concerns raised by civil society organisations and trade unions. Based on the very shallow information included in the EU summary of the negotiations, the deal could lead to the privatisation of public services; grant foreign investors special privileges to sue states in a parallel justice system; hurt small-scale farmers; negatively impact fundamental rights, such as the right to privacy and data protection; limit the EU’s and Japan’s ability to roll back excessive intellectual property rights; and put additional burdens on regulators, strengthening the role of corporate lobbyists in the policy-making process.
Neither most parliamentarians in EU member states and in Japan, nor European and Japanese civil society organisations and trade unions know the content of the discussions. Nor have they seen draft chapters or been consulted. We condemn this opacity.
Today extended sections of civil society have united to denounce the disastrous impacts of trade and investment agreements on workers, public health, democracy, public services, and the environment. Never before have so many diverse organisations come together across the globe to denounce the toxicity and secrecy of trade deals such as TPP, TTIP, CETA, TiSA, and RCEP.
To regain the trust of European and Japanese farmers, citizens and workers, the undersigned organisations thus call on the European Commission and the Japanese government to disclose the mandate of their trade negotiations, to publish all draft consolidated negotiation texts, and to ensure that the EU-Japan FTA puts protections for the people and the environment first and foremost, above privileges for multinational corporations.
Advocacy and Monitoring Network on Sustainable Development (Amnet): ＡＭネット, Japan
ALEBA Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Attac Austria, Austria
Attac Finland, Finland
Attac France, France
Attac Ireland, Ireland
Both Ends, Netherlands
Confédération Paysanne, France
Corporate Europe Observatory, Belgium
CRASH – Coalition for Research and Action for Social Justice and Human Dignity, Finland
DIEM25 Finland, Finland
Ecologistas en Acción, Spain
Emmaus Aurinkotehdas ry, Finland
Food & Water Europe, Belgium
Friends of the Landless, Finland
Government: 市民と政府のＴＰＰ意見交換会・全国実行委員会, Japan
Katholische ArbeitnehmerInnen Bewegung Erzdiözese Wien, Austria
Les Amis de la Terre, France
MAMADEMO (The group to lift up voices of young mothers): ママデモ, Japan
Mouvement Ecologique, Luxembourg
National Committee for the Dialogue on TPP between Citizens and the Government, Japan
Natur&ëmwelt a.s.b.l., Luxembourg
New Wind Association, Finland
Pacific Asia Resource Center (PARC), Japan
People’s Action against TPP: ＴＰＰに反対する人々の運動, Japan
Platform Aarde Boer Consument, Netherlands
PowerShift e.V, Germany
Seattle to Brussels Network, Europe
Stop TAFTA Luxembourg, Luxembourg
STOP TPP Action in KANSAI: STOP! TPP緊急行動・関西, Japan
TPP Citizen Coalition: ＴＰＰを考える市民の会, Japan
TPP Osaka Network for Citizens: ほんまにええの？TPP大阪ネットワ－ク, Japan
Transnational Institute (TNI), Netherlands
TTIP Network Finland, Finland
War on Want, United Kingdom