Japanese green tea and sake are gaining popularity in many countries around the world and so is the number of connoisseurs of these Japanese products.
In 2016, the Japanese export value for green tea was 11.5 billion JPY and for sake, the export value stood at 15.5 billion JPY, the EU accounting for 20% and 6% of the total value, respectively. The EU is currently working on abolishing the tariff on Japanese green tea and sake as part of the negotiations for Japan-EU economic partnership agreement and aims at gaining concessions from Japan with tariffs of up to 3.2% on green tea and several per liter of sake.
Japanese food is growing in popularity in Europe and removal of tariffs could mean an expansion of Japanese products in this region of the world.
Although the EU has been pressing for the abolition of tariffs as high as 30% on soft cheese like Camembert, which is popular in Japan, the Japanese government aims at keeping the prices unchanged to protect domestic producers under the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, agreed upon by Japan in February 2016.
On the other hand, it is considering abolishing or lowering tariffs on EU products such as blue cheese, powdered or shredded cheese, and whey.
The date for realizing either of these talks has yet to be determined.