On November 29, EU Council approved a mandate for the Commission to negotiate a free trade agreement with Japan. Japan is the EU's seventh-largest trading partner while the EU is Japan's third-largest trading partner, with 3.6 % and 11 % respectively of each other's trade in goods in 2011.
It is expected formal negotiation will start early 2013. For Japan, high customs duty in EU have been concern, e.g. 10% for complete vehicle, and 14% for television unit. To lower such tariff has been strong request from auto and electronics industry in Japan, while Korea have already implemented FTA with EU since 2011. For EU, the main agenda is to remove the strong Non Tariff Barrier in Japan, e.g. certificate of standard.
(Source: http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/press/danwa/24/dgk_1130.html )