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Agreement with Japan on mutual legal assistance

Agreement with Japan on mutual legal assistance

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Agreement with Japan on mutual legal assistance

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Asia

Agreement with Japan on mutual legal assistance

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2010/616/EU of 7 October 2010 on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and Japan on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.

Summary

The European Union (EU) and Japan negotiated an agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters with a view to establishing more effective cooperation in this field. The agreement, which entered into force on 2 January 2011, is the first “self-standing” mutual legal assistance agreement between the EU and a non-EU country. So far, no individual EU country has concluded such an agreement with Japan.

The agreement applies to the requesting and provision of mutual legal assistance in relation to investigations, prosecutions and other proceedings in criminal matters. It does not apply to extradition, transfer of proceedings in criminal matters and enforcement of sentences, apart from confiscation.

The legal assistance consists of:

  • taking testimonies, including by videoconference;
  • searching and seizing items;
  • obtaining information on bank accounts;
  • examining and locating or identifying persons, items or places;
  • providing items held by the authorities;
  • serving documents;
  • transferring persons in custody for the purpose of testimony;
  • freezing or seizing and confiscating proceeds.

Each EU country and Japan must designate a central authority with responsibility for sending, receiving and responding to requests for assistance. These authorities are also responsible for executing the requests or for transmitting the requests to the authorities with jurisdiction to execute them.

Requests for assistance

The country making a request for assistance must do so in writing. In urgent cases, the request may be made by other reliable means of communication. Requests for assistance must contain certain specific information as set out in the agreement. The requested country may ask for additional information if necessary for executing the request for assistance. The request, together with any other documents, must be accompanied by a translation in the official language of the requested country or in another language as agreed by that country.

Execution of requests

The requested country must execute the request for assistance as swiftly as possible and in accordance with its national law. It may postpone the execution of a request, or make execution subject to specific conditions, if it could interfere with an ongoing investigation, prosecution or other proceeding. The requested country must transmit the result of the execution, together with any testimonies or items obtained, to the requesting country. If it cannot execute a request in whole or in part, it must provide the requesting country with the reasons thereof. Under certain conditions, the requested country may refuse to provide assistance, for example if the request concerns an offence that is punishable by death under the law of the requesting country. When refusing assistance, the requested country must provide the reasons thereof.

Testimonies and statements

The requesting country may only use testimonies, statements, items or information in the investigations, prosecutions or other proceedings for which they were requested. The requested country may impose provisions of confidentiality or other conditions to the use of these data. It may also impose conditions to the transport, maintenance and return of items requested.

To take testimonies or statements, the requested country may use coercive measures if necessary and provided that this is justifiable under its national law. In cases where the person concerned is to be heard as a witness in proceedings of the requesting country, the requested country may allow its competent authorities to take the testimony or statement by videoconference.

Persons, items and places

If necessary and justifiable under its national law, the requested country may use coercive measures to obtain items and to examine persons, items or places.

The requested country must provide the requesting country with records, documents or reports related to the bank accounts of the person under investigation, to the extent that the bank in question possesses the information.

The requested country must provide the requesting country with any publicly available items that its legislative, administrative or judicial authorities possess. It should also provide any non-public items, such as criminal records, that these authorities possess, to the extent and under the same conditions as they are available to its investigative and prosecuting authorities.

The requested country must serve documents and summons to persons requested to appear before the competent authorities of the requesting country. If the presence of a person in custody is requested for testimony, the requested country may temporarily transfer that person to the requesting country. However, the person to be transferred must first give his/her consent and the transfer must be permitted under the law of the requested country.

Confiscation of proceeds

The requested country should assist the requesting country in proceedings related to the freezing or seizure and confiscation of proceeds of crime, as far as it is permitted by its national law. The requesting country must provide the decision of a court or other judicial authority that imposes the confiscation together with its request. If the proceeds are in the custody of the requested country, it may transfer them in whole or in part to the requesting country.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2010/616/EU

7.10.2010

OJ L 271 of 15.10.2010

ITER: Euratom/Japan agreement on nuclear fusion

ITER: Euratom/Japan agreement on nuclear fusion

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about ITER: Euratom/Japan agreement on nuclear fusion

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > Nuclear energy

ITER: Euratom/Japan agreement on nuclear fusion

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2007/614/Euratom of 30 January 2007 concerning the conclusion, by the Commission, of the Agreement between the European Atomic Energy Community and the Government of Japan for the Joint Implementation of the Broader Approach Activities in the Field of Fusion Energy Research

Summary

The purpose of this Agreement between the European Union (EU) and Japan is to introduce a framework for the achievement of a “broader approach” in the field of fusion energy, following on from the ITER project.

The Agreement, scheduled for ten years, is open to other ITER parties.

Activities

The “broader approach” activities refer to three research projects developed in Japan:

  • the project completing the design of the International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility (IFMIF/EVEDA), for the testing and qualification of advanced materials in environment conditions comparable to those of a fusion power reactor;
  • the “satellite” Tokamak programme, to develop operating scenarios for the ITER and DEMO projects;
  • the project relating to the International Fusion Energy Research Centre, a body responsible for coordinating the DEMO design R&D, large-scale simulation of plasmas to produce fusion power by supercomputers and remote experimentation to facilitate broad participation by scientists in the experiments conducted under ITER.

Structure

The management structure for the “broader approach” activities comprises:

  • the steering committee;
  • the secretariat;
  • the project committee(s);
  • the project leader(s) and project team(s);
  • the implementing agencies.

Implementing instruments

The project plan (covering the duration of the project), which is submitted to the steering committee for approval no later than 31 March each year by each project leader after consulting the project committee, comprises:

  • a description of all the planned activities;
  • a detailed schedule of the main stages of implementation;
  • an overview of the contributions made and to be made.

After consulting the project committee, each project leader submits a work programme for the following year to the steering committee for approval, containing:

  • the points of the corresponding project plan;
  • programming specifications for the activities to be carried out (objectives, planning, current expenditure, contributions expected from each party, etc.).

Each project leader submits an annual report to the steering committee for approval (no later than 31 March of each year). This document is then forwarded to the parties and the implementing agencies.

Finally, each party is entitled to carry out a financial audit at any time during this agreement and for up to 5 years afterwards.

Resources

The resources for the implementation of the “broader approach” activities may be:

  • contributions in kind;
  • specific components, equipment and materials, as well as goods and services;
  • the experts made available to the project teams;
  • the personnel made available to the various management bodies;
  • financial contributions.

The European contribution, which mainly takes the form of contributions in kind, amounts to approximately EUR 340 million.

References

Act Entry into force Delay for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2007/614/Euratom

30.1.2007

OJ L 246 of 21.9.2007

Industrialised countries

Industrialised countries

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Industrialised countries

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Industrialised countries

Industrialised countries

RELATIONS WITH INDUSTRIALISED COUNTRIES

United States

  • Agreement with the United States on extradition
  • Agreement between the European Union and the United States on the transfer of financial messaging data
  • Programme for cooperation in higher education and vocational education and training with the United States
  • Container security: EU/US agreements
  • Agreement on the processing and transfer of passenger name record data by air carriers to the United States Department of Homeland Security (2007 PNR Agreement)
  • ‘Open Skies’ agreement between Europe and the United States
  • Agreement with the United States on mutual legal assistance

Canada

  • Framework of cooperation in higher education, training and youth with Canada
  • Agreement with Canada

Instruments

  • Financing instrument for cooperation with industrialised and other high-income countries and territories (2007-2013)

Sectoral cooperation

  • Towards a strategy for the Arctic
  • Cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries on nuclear safety

RELATIONS WITH EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA COUNTRIES (EEA)

  • Agreement on the European Economic Area
  • Agreement on the surrender procedure between the EU Member States, Iceland and Norway

Customs Agreement with Japan

Customs Agreement with Japan

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Customs Agreement with Japan

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Asia

Customs Agreement with Japan

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2008/202/EC of 28 January 2008 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Government of Japan on cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters [Official Journal L 62 of 6.3.2008].

Summary

Customs cooperation

This Agreement introduces cooperation encompassing all fields of customs legislation.

This cooperation shall be achieved by establishing channels of communication and by introducing coordination between customs authorities *.

The parties undertake to facilitate commercial transactions while increasing their level of security. The Agreement aims in particular at improving customs techniques and procedures. The aim is to strengthen cooperation at bilateral level and within international organisations.

Mutual administrative assistance

This Agreement provides for two types of assistance between authorities in the event of customs operations that are in breach of legislation:

  • assistance on request, concerning the lawfulness of and customs procedure for imports and exports of goods, suspects, places of storage and the transport of goods;
  • spontaneous assistance, concerning in particular the potential risks to the economy, public safety and public health. In the interests of the other party, the requested authority * provides all information relating to activities, resources and methods, goods, persons and means of transport.

Formal aspects and exceptions to assistance

Requests will be made in writing in a language understood by both authorities. In urgent cases, an oral request may precede the written request.

To facilitate the processing of the request, the applicant authority * will provide sufficient information on the measure requested, the object of and the reason for the request. It also provides information on the suspects, the legislation involved, the relevant facts and investigations carried out.

To comply with a request for assistance, the requested authority communicates all information already available to it or undertakes any necessary investigation. The measures taken shall be coordinated with the applicant authority.

If it is not possible to comply with a request, a reasoned communication is sent to the applicant authority without delay.

A request may be refused or postponed. It may also be made subject to conditions in the event of prejudice to the sovereignty, security, public policy or interests of a State, especially where the protection of the information transmitted cannot be guaranteed.

The data transmitted is confidential; it is protected under the laws and regulations applicable in the State of the applicant authority. However, this information may be used as evidence in the context of a preparatory inquiry.

A Joint Customs Cooperation Committee is responsible for the proper functioning of this Agreement.

Key terms of the Act
  • Customs authority: in Japan, the Ministry of Finance, and, in the European Union, the competent services of the Commission and the customs authorities of the Member States.
  • Applicant authority: a customs authority of a Contracting Party which makes a request for assistance on the basis of this Agreement.
  • Requested authority: a customs authority of a Contracting Party which receives a request for assistance on the basis of this Agreement.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2008/202/EC

28.1.2008

OJ L 62, 6.3.2008