European Union officials on Thursday congratulated the new government in Japan, saying that they looked forward to working with Tokyo on major issues such as global warming, reported dpa.
"I am looking forward to working with you in order to deepen and strengthen EU-Japan relations and to continue our excellent cooperation in the G8 and multilateral fora," the head of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, wrote to Prime Minister Taro Aso.
"I consider Japan to be an important strategic partner for the EU with whom we share many basic values and interests," he wrote.
The EU's foreign-affairs commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, sent a congratulatory note to Japan's new foreign minister, Hirofumi Nakasone.
"I look forward to working closely with you on many bilateral issues, including the implementation of the 2001 EU-Japan Action Plan, as well as matters of global importance and shared concern such as climate change and energy security," she wrote.
Japan is the EU's fifth-largest trading partner, after the United States, China, Russia and Switzerland.
The EU is Japan's third-largest trading partner, after China and the US.