Ja­panese warn­ing over Brexit dur­ing G20 talks

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

TOKYO has is­sued its bold­est warn­ing yet over the po­ten­tial fall­out from Brexit, say­ing Ja­panese firms may shift key op­er­a­tions from Britain to Europe if they lose free ac­cess to the sin­gle mar­ket.

With a G20 sum­mit un­der way in China, a Ja­panese govern­ment task­force told Britain and the EU to min­imise the “harm­ful ef­fects” of Brexit on firms that treat the UK as a gate­way to Europe.

Some of Ja­pan’s best-known com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Toy­ota, Hi­tachi and in­vest­ment bank No­mura, are re-as­sess­ing their UK in­vest­ments after Britain voted in June to quit the 28-mem­ber EU, ac­cord­ing to a re­port is­sued by Tokyo.

“Ja­panese busi­nesses with their Euro­pean head­quar­ters in the UK may de­cide to trans­fer their head­of­fice func­tion to Con­ti­nen­tal Europe if EU laws cease to be ap­pli­ca­ble in the UK after its with­drawal,” the re­port said.

Ja­pan has warned that some of its firms were lured to Britain by its sales pitch as a launch­ing pad for tap­ping the Euro­pean mar­ket – adding that Lon­don has a duty to ham­mer out a post-Brexit deal that pro­tects Ja­panese com­pa­nies.

“We strongly re­quest that the UK will con­sider this fact se­ri­ously and re­spond in a re­spon­si­ble man­ner to min­imise any harm­ful ef­fects on these busi­nesses,” said the 15-page doc­u­ment.

More than 1000 Ja­panese com­pa­nies do busi­ness in Britain, em­ploy­ing some 140,000 lo­cal peo­ple, and Ja­pan’s di­rect in­vest­ment in the coun­try has topped 10 tril­lion yen (US$96 bil­lion) to date.

The re­port also urged Britain and the EU to make the Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tion process trans­par­ent to avoid “un­pleas­ant sur­prises”. –

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