Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been visiting EU Leaders on the continent since the start of this week. He met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday to jointly encourage the European Union to agree a trade deal with Japan. Negotiations for the deal started on the 25th March in 2013 and is about to surpass four years of talks, the delay in discussions was put down to individual states not agreeing according to Merkel. Japan also recently fell victim to Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and now see an agreement with Europe as vital.
Japan is the EU’s sixth largest trading partner last year accounting for around €124.5bn in trade. However, considering Japan’s focus on electronics and car manufacturing it may not be a deal all nations will gain from.
Back at home Abe who has been Prime Minister for 5 years now is starting to face questions. In a recent poll his cabinets approval rating dropped by 10 percentage points to 56%, this is the biggest fall since he took office.
Abe and his wife have become embroiled in a state land selling scandal which he profusely denies and offered to resign if any evidence was discovered that linked him to it. However, there has been several twists in the story and it’s starting to affect his reputation.
The Japanese Yen has been in a fairly constant range over the last two months sitting around the 139 to the Pound. Japan’s economy has been fairly stagnant over the last few years with negative interest rates and inflation having little to offer. If there was to be a trade deal with the EU that could certainly help to increase foreign investment and in turn the Yen.
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