Jeremy Hunt, British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a courtesy call his official residence in Tokyo on Monday. Photo: Kimimasa Mayama/Pool via REUTERS

Japan asks Britain to minimize negative Brexit impact

By Kimimasa Mayama

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 outcome because we recognize that Japan has many investments, employing hundreds of thousands of people in the UK," Hunt said.

"And we know that Japan has helped to transform the British manufacturing industry for the better, and we want that strong cooperation to continue."

The British government will resume talks with the main opposition Labour party this week on how to resolve the deadlock over Brexit, a senior minister, David Lidington, said on Sunday.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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C’mon Japan. There will be no negative impact from Brexit. Stop listening to globalist propaganda.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

You can’t “ask” Britain anything, they have no clue what they are doing. Only hope is Jeremy.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Sweet.  Like asking a dog to control its fleas.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japanese worrywarts needn't fret. A divorce from the EU has no more substance than a wet dream of blue passports, unicorns and spotty pale-skinned little englanders waving union jacks in a green and pleasant land with nary a "Johnny Foreigner" to be seen. Fortunately, more and more British people are beginning to wake up to the realization that Brexit was a hoax from the start, just another twisted right-wing con job on a gullible public that could never become a reality..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What exactly is Abe asking?

Many international cmpanies are based in the UK and are not asking anything.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Only hope is Jeremy.

I take it you're not referring to the Jeremy in the article. Although I'm not sure the other one is any better.

Many international cmpanies are based in the UK and are not asking anything.

Right. They're just getting out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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