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EU and Japan have signed an ambitious deal to build infrastructure and set development standards

The EU and Japan have signed an ambitious deal to build infrastructure and set development standards in joint projects around the world, in a riposte to China’s far-reaching Belt and Road Initiative.The so-called connectivity partnership will cover sectors from transport to digital industries as part of a wider effort to revive multilateral co-operation in the face of the US withdrawal from international agreements such as the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate change accord.The agreement was signed in Brussels on Friday by Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, and Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission president. It dovetails with EU plans to deploy €60bn to leverage investments of many times that value to improve ties between Europe and Asia. Mr Abe called the growing co-operation between Brussels and Tokyo, which includes economic and strategic partnerships, a “resounding declaration” at a time when “the values and principles we have held dear could waver or drift”.Speaking at an event to mark the signing, Mr Abe said: “Whether it be a single road or a single port, when the EU and Japan undertake something, we are able to build sustainable, rules-based connectivity from the Indo-Pacific to the Western Balkans and Africa”.While the agreement does not mention China by name, the overriding idea and the language used to promote the project were clearly crafted with Beijing’s Belt and Road infrastructure-building initiative

Financial Times : https://www.ft.com/content/dd14ce1e-e11d-11e9-9743-db5a370481bc

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