BRUSSELS, May 6 (KUNA) -- The share of imports in the EU from Japan more than halved, from 7.9pct in 2002 to 3.4pct in 2013, and the share of EU exports to Japan fell from 4.9pct to 3.1pct.
In 2013, Japan was the seventh most important trading partner of the EU, compared with fourth in 2002.
In 2013, EU exports to Japan fell slightly compared with 2012 from 55.6 billion euro to 54 billion euro, while imports decreased more strongly, from 64.7 billion euro to 56.5 billion euro.
Consequently, the EU trade deficit with Japan also fell, from 9.2 billion euro in 2012 to 2.5 billion euro in 2013.
These figures were released Tuesday by Eurostat, the EU statistical office, on the occasion of the 22nd European Union - Japan summit, which will take place in Brussels tomorrow.
Among the 28 EU Member States, Germany (17.3 billion euro) was by far the largest exporter to Japan in 2013, followed by France (6.9 billion), Italy (6.0 billion ) and the United Kingdom (5.2 billion).
Germany (14.5 billion) was also the largest importer, followed by the Netherlands (10. billion ), the United Kingdom (8 billion ) and Belgium (7.1 billion).
Machinery and vehicles accounted for 37pct (19.8 billion euro) of EU exports to Japan, and for 66pct of EU imports from Japan (37.1 billion euro).
Meanwhile, the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, in a statement said, " the EU and Japan bear a joint responsibility for promoting a global economic recovery and a move towards greener, more sustainable growth."
"Japan's readiness to share a larger part of the burden of international crisis management resonates with the EU's own efforts to be a global provider of security. Building a closer security partnership, we can jointly make a major contribution to peace and security worldwide," he said.
On his part, President of the European Commission , Jose Manuel Barroso, said "the ongoing negotiations (between EU and Japan) for a strategic partnership agreement and a free trade agreement epitomise our wish to lift our relationship onto a higher, more strategic plane."
Japan will be led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the summit with the EU. (end)