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SP opposes EU-Japan agreement

8 December 2017

SP opposes EU-Japan agreement

The SP is alarmed by the trade treaty which the EU concluded with the Japan today. Japan is undermining international agreements on both illegal forest clearance and whaling. In addition, there are concerns about data protection for the public. To cap it all, national parliaments will have no right or opportunity to express their views on the treaty.

SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur has major objections to numerous aspects of the treaty, as she explains. “Japan and the EU are going to harmonise their national regulations, a process in which corporations will be actively involved and one in which they will be able to get their own way. This will take place behind closed doors, away from any possibility of observation and any control by parliaments or public. Japan is a country which is still hunting whales and which imports illegally felled wood from nearby countries, in transgression of international agreements. On top of all that, when it comes to the protection of personal data, the agreement gives a blank cheque to future agreements between trade partners, while data protection in Japan is much less strong.'

Mineur is opposed to the wave of trade treaties which the European Commission is in such a hurry to conclude. 'It’s clear that major public concerns exist over this sort of treaty, but all that the Commission is doing in response is removing the decision-making from the parliaments closest to the people, their own national parliaments,” she says. “This is first and foremost a treaty for multinationals. We need a radical change of course, and a fair trade agenda which benefits people, animals and the environment.”

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