French Trade Minister Pierre Lellouche stated while orders for Airbus aircraft by Japanese LCCs, Skymark Airlines and A&F Aviation Co, have been welcome, they are not enough to prove the market has fully opened up (Kyodo News, 06-Mar-2011). Boeing has long dominated Japan's commercial aircraft market. The European Union sees the closed nature of the domestic market, especially in terms of non-tariff barriers, as an issue for Japan and the European Union with regard to the launch of free negotiations, according to Mr Lellouche who called on Tokyo to make "a political gesture" that will signal a solution to rules on public procurement and other areas.
French Government: "It is good news ... but I must say that the figures [for the orders] are still quite small when considering the principle of free trade. So far, it is probably only Israel that is taking such a closed stance similar to Japan in terms of aircraft. For the European Union and Japan to work together ... it is appropriate to reduce barriers as much as possible," Pierre Lellouche, Trade Minister. Source: Kyodo News, 06-Mar-2011.