The European Parliament Delegation for relations with Japan is one of the longest established in the Parliament. The Delegation was created in 1979 and since that date has held annual interparliamentary meetings (IPMs) with counterparts from the Japanese Diet.
The IPMs take place in alternate years in Japan and in one of the places of work of the European Parliament. The 34th EU - Japan IPM was in Tokyo in February 2013. In addition, the Bureaus of the Delegation or specialised working groups regularly visit the counterpart Parliament to examine specific subjects and to prepare the IPMs.
The agenda items of the IPMs cover areas such as trade, economic and financial issues, environment and climate change, security in the Pacific region, human rights, cooperation in the field of science, technology & innovation. One of the key topics of the EU - Japanese dialogue at present is the process towards a deep and comprehensive EU - Japan Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
The EU relationship with Japan is founded on the 2001 EU - Japan Action Plan. It has broadened in recent years along the lines of the Action Plan and now extends far beyond the trade-related focus of the 1970's and 1980's.