"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Japan-EU Joint Initiative for the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Asia.

[Date] June 22, 2004
[Source] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]


Economies of both Japan and the European Union are highly competitive and innovative. Thus, Japan and the EU both consider that their industries' creativity needs to be rewarded and protected through a strong and effective IPR system.

Since it is in the mutual interest of Japan and the EU to defend innovation and creativity, the strengthening of their cooperation on issues related to IPR protection and enforcement has become an essential line of action. This is particularly true for the Asian region, where current levels of piracy and counterfeiting are reaching unacceptable heights. The globalisation of markets has led to a flood of pirated and counterfeited goods worldwide.

In the framework of their bilateral dialogue on IPR issues, Japan and the EU are eager to strengthen their cooperation for combating counterfeiting and piracy of goods in Asia. Japan and the EU will join forces to support Asian countries in dealing with the implementation and enforcement of IPR laws and regulations.

Japan and the EU intend to act together against counterfeiting and piracy in Asia by promoting international cooperation on IPR enforcement issues in both a multilateral and bilateral framework. Better coordination of EU and Japanese cooperation initiatives in this area would help Asian countries in their fight against the existing high level of piracy and counterfeiting.


In this spirit, Japan and the EU have decided to set-up a Joint Initiative for IPR Enforcement in Asia. This proposed initiative will focus on the following elements:

(i) Closely following-up Asian countries’ progress in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy;

(ii) Exchanging information on technical cooperation projects;

(iii) Coordinating, wherever appropriate, technical cooperation programmes and favouring possible synergies between these programmes;

(iv) Enhancing Japan-EU efforts in order to increase awareness to combat piracy and counterfeiting as well as to promote the strengthening of IPR enforcement in the Asian region;

(v) Exploring the possibility of cooperating in aspects other than counterfeiting and piracy.


The proposed IPR-project will be implemented via regular dialogues between the European Commission and the Japanese government and will be managed on the spot by the EC Delegations and the Japanese Embassies in Asia, with the close involvement of the industry (Chambers of Commerce, industry associations, JETRO, etc.) and the Asian authorities as appropriate. Detailed annual Work Plans will be prepared to ensure the successful implementation of this initiative.