EU, Japan More Favorable to Economic Integration, Tribune Says

The European Union and Japan should authorize planning for an Economic Integration Agreement at a bilateral meeting at the end of the month, La Tribune said today, citing an interview with Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd. Chairman Hiromasa Yonekura.

The automotive industry’s opposition to the proposal, which blocked integration talks last year, has changed as European auto companies are increasing their cooperation with Japanese carmakers, the newspaper said, citing Yonekura, who is also chairman of the Keidanren, Japan’s largest business lobby.

The group recommended raising the value-added tax “gradually” to 10 percent from the current 5 percent level to help fund rising costs linked to the earthquake, the newspaper said, quoting Yonekura.

To contact the reporter on this story: Heather Smith in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at

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