Abe: Japan, Germany should champion free trade
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed on Sunday that his country wants to champion free trade, alongside Germany. Speaking at the opening of a technology fair in northern Germany, he also said Japan should reach an economic deal with the European Union soon. His comments were echoed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the same event.
Abe, at the start of the CeBIT fair, said: "Japan, having gone through reaping in abundance the benefits of free trade and investment, wants to be the champion upholding open systems alongside Germany," adding, "We must conclude an economic partnership agreement between Japan and the EU at an early time."
Merkel described the possible trade deal between Japan and the EU as “the right statement” and said that Germany would want to “be a driving force” behind it. She claimed that Japan and Germany no longer argue about the benefits of free trade, but promote it instead, especially in times in which the issue frequently needs to be defended.