Discussions about a free trade deal between the European Union, the world's largest internal market, and Japan, the third biggest economy, have begun. But swift agreement is unlikely and talks could drag on for years. GIS expert, Professor Dr Stefan Lippert explains why.

TALKS have started on how the European Union and Japan can negotiate a free trade agreement. But these official pre-negotiations are expected to take months and the official negotiations, which follow, could drag on for decades.

Japan wanted to open talks with the EU in 2008 because it was concerned at the prospect of being overtaken by Korea in getting free access...

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Dr. Stefan Lippert
The EU was initially dismissive of the idea because it was under heavy pressure from the European car industry and other related businesses
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