Tokyo warns UK that quitting EU could risk jobs
Financial district office buildings in the City of London.
Japan has warned the UK that a decision to quit the EU could threaten the future of dozens of major Japanese companies and more than 100,000 jobs.
The thinly veiled declaration was given by Tokyo in response to a request from the British foreign and commonwealth office for its thoughts. Other capitals are believed not to have replied to similar requests.
Saying it expected the UK to “continue to play a major role in the EU”, the Japanese government said the country, “as a champion of free trade, is a reliable partner for Japan”.
“More than 1,300 Japanese companies have invested in the UK, as part of the single market of the EU, and have created 130,000 jobs, more than anywhere else in Europe.
“This fact demonstrates that the advantage of the UK as a gateway to the European market has attracted Japanese investment,” the government said, in a clear hint that departure from the EU would threaten those investments.
Tokyo said it expected London “to maintain this favourable role” and it was “committed to making its relationship with the EU stronger than ever”.
The Japanese embassy in London said it knew some capitals had not commented on the issue in case they upset the British, but Tokyo thought it was appropriate to take “advantage of this occasion to express our expectations”.