Japan warns firms may leave Britain and head for Continent

The 15-page ministry of foreign affairs document, based on requests from Japanese firms, urged Theresa Mays government to behave in a responsible manner. Picture: Getty

The 15-page ministry of foreign affairs document, based on requests from Japanese firms, urged Theresa Mays government to behave in a responsible manner. Picture: Getty

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Japan’s government has issued a stark warning about the possible impact of Brexit on the country’s firms operating in the UK.

The Tokyo government published a list of demands aimed at protecting the country’s car manufacturers and financial institutions and jobs of Britons working for Japanese firms.

The 15-page ministry of foreign affairs document, based on requests from Japanese firms, urged Theresa May’s government to behave in a “responsible manner”.

The official report said: “In light of the fact that a number of Japanese businesses, invited by the government in some cases, have invested actively to the UK, which was seen to be a gateway to Europe, and have established value-chains across Europe, we strongly request that the UK will consider this fact seriously and respond in a responsible manner to minimise any harmful effects.”

The document also warns that head offices of Japanese firms in the UK could be shifted to the Continent if EU regulations no longer apply after Brexit.

“The Japanese business community hopes to see the UK implement measures to promote investment including the easing of regulations to make the UK a more attractive investment destination,” it said.

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

The report urged the negotiations between the UK and EU to be carried out as early as possible.

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