The relationship between the European Union and Japan is based upon longstanding cooperation and shared fundamental values and principles such as democracy, the rule of law, human rights, good governance and a market-based economy – benefits to citizens in both Europe and Japan. As an EU member state, Malta also shares this sentiment and these values.

As the first ever bilateral framework agreement between the EU and Japan, the Strategic Partnership Agreement greatly strengthens the overall partnership by promoting political and sectoral cooperation and joint actions on issues of common interest—including on regional and global challenges—notably cybercrime, disaster management, energy security, climate change and ageing populations, among others.

On 31st October 2018, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela, on behalf of Malta, signed the ratification agreement of the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement which had been signed in Tokyo on 17 July 2018 between the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Tarō Kōno.

The agreement concerns remits which cover the EU’s and member states’ shared competence and therefore, it requires the ratification of all EU member states before it enters into force. The agreement will enter into force after the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union is notified through diplomatic channels of the completion of the internal procedures by member states.

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