The European Union (EU) and Japan gave another boost to strategic partnership and bilateral ties, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy said to press after the 22nd EU-Japan summit in Brussels on Wednesday. Over a year ago, EU and Japan launched negotiations on two important agreements, namely A Strategic Partnership Agreement and Free Trade Agreement (FTA). These agreements "form a crucial foundation for taking our strategic partnership forward over the next decade," Van Rompuy said. "While trade and investment relations remain very important, our strategic partnership is moving into new areas of cooperation," Van Rompuy said. The EU and Japan agreed to carry out a joint counter piracy exercise between Japanese naval assets and the EUNAVFOR Atalanta in the Western Indian Ocean, and they will jointly support African's efforts against the threats of terrorism and organized crime, Van Rompuy told the press. FTA negotiations were expected to "reach a basic agreement in 2015," Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a news conference. As Abe "informed" the EU leaders of the security situation in East Asia, Van Rompuy reiterated that any disputes must be resolved peacefully, calling "all sides to refrain from raising tensions and to build a relationship based on trust, mutual respect and reconciliation."