Japan asks Britain to minimize negative Brexit impact


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday asked Britain to minimize the negative impact of its departure from the European Union on Japanese firms and the global economy.

His remarks came during a meeting with visiting British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and after analysts earlier this year warned that Brexit has in many cases accelerated the decisions of Japanese firms to leave Britain.

"Japan welcomes the fact that a no-deal Brexit has been avoided for the time being, and I have a great respect for the effort made by Prime Minister (Theresa) May," Abe said.

May was forced to ask fellow EU leaders earlier this month to postpone Brexit for a second time, from April 12 to Oct 31.

She has been unable to persuade MPs to back the withdrawal terms she has struck with Brussels, but is also unwilling to take Britain out of the EU with no deal at all.

"I would like to express my hope that any negative impact of the UK's withdrawal from the EU will be minimized on Japanese corporations and on the world economy," Abe said.

Around 1,000 Japanese companies operate in Britain, supporting about 140,000 jobs.

But automakers Honda and Nissan have said they are axing production at plants in Britain, while electronics giants Sony and Panasonic are scaling back operations and major Japanese banks are pulling out.

While there are specific reasons behind each individual business decision, analysts said the specter of Brexit was haunting Japanese firms across the board.

"On the matter of Brexit, as you know we are very determined to avoid a no-deal outcomeRead More

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