TOKYO — Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida will travel to Brussels on Wednesday for talks on a trade accord with the European Union.

Kishida told reporters that he hoped the two sides could reach a “basic agreement” after failing to bridge differences blocking a proposed Economic Partnership Agreement, or EPA, during last week’s negotiations in Tokyo.

Japan and the EU have been working to reach an accord before a summit of the Group of 20 industrial nations later this week in Hamburg, Germany, and to send a message in support of free trade, countering a U.S. backlash against broad trade pacts.

“Based on the ministerial talks we had on June 30 and July 1, we are currently continuing tough negotiations,” Kishida said. “Although we cannot be too optimistic about the prospect of the talks, I strongly hope to strike a basic agreement on Japan-EU EPA this time around as I head into the talks.”

Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Commissioner for Trade, said Monday that she believes a deal can be reached later this week.

The hope is to announce an agreement when Japan’s prime minister meets EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday ahead of a summit of the Group of 20 industrial nations in Germany.

Japanese officials have said the main sticking points are over ending tariffs on imports of cheese and autos. A deal would require finessing Japan’s protections for its dairy farmers, whose home market is protected by tariffs of up to 40 percent on processed cheese.