Following the political agreement reached in July 2017 on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the bilateral discussions in September and October 2017 focussed on the outstanding issues, notably whether and how to include provisions on data protection and investment protection in the EPA, or address those issues separately or at a later date. These discussions continued into November 2017, with the aim to conclude the EPA negotiations in December 2017. On 15 November 2017, the two sides agreed not to include the investment protection provisions in the EPA and to continue discussions on investment protection on a separate track.

Meanwhile, on 14 September 2017, the 2012 EU negotiating mandate for the EPA negotiations was published in an effort to increase transparency.