Japan PM Shinzo Abe warns of 'confusion' without Brexit deal; urges smooth transition

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday urged Britain and the European Union to secure a 'smooth and transparent' separation, saying that open trade in Europe was 'a matter of concern to the world'.

AFP April 29, 2017 18:26:40 IST
Japan PM Shinzo Abe warns of 'confusion' without Brexit deal; urges smooth transition

London: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday urged Britain and the European Union to secure a "smooth and transparent" separation, saying that open trade in Europe was "a matter of concern to the world".

Abe met with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday, assuring her that he "continued to trust the UK economy after separation from the European Union," he told a press conference in London on Saturday.

Japan PM Shinzo Abe warns of confusion without Brexit deal urges smooth transition

File image of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. AFP

But he warned that "all the stakeholders, including investors from countries outside the region" needed to have "clear future prospects" in a post-Brexit Britain.

More than 1,000 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 ($96 billion) to date.

Japan has already warned that 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.

Japan's major automakers have so far backed the British economy with Toyota announcing a £240 million investment in a car assembly plant while Nissan gave the green light to new investments at its plant in northeast England.

The announcements raised questions about what assurances they had been offered by the British government.

EU president Donald Tusk said Friday that Britain must first settle the divorce issues of "people, money and Ireland" before any talks on a post-Brexit trade deal.

Abe said he was worried about Britain suddenly leaving the bloc.

"Maintaining an open Europe is a matter of concern to the world," he said. "If the rules change overnight, there will be a concern about a possible confusion arising.

"I highly regard that the UK attaches importance to a smooth and transparent process including setting a transition period," he told the London press conference.

Updated Date:

also read

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Great Britain duo Andy Murray, Joe Salisbury eliminated by Croatia's Marin Cilic, Ivan Dodig
Sports

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Great Britain duo Andy Murray, Joe Salisbury eliminated by Croatia's Marin Cilic, Ivan Dodig

The British pair led Cilic and Dodig by a set and a break but suffered a late collapse as the Croatians prevailed in a deciding tie-break to win 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 10-7

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Britain's Tom Dean beats out teammate Duncan Scott to claim 200m freestyle gold medal
Sports

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Britain's Tom Dean beats out teammate Duncan Scott to claim 200m freestyle gold medal

Dean came from behind in the final 50m to touch in a new national record of 1min 44.22sec, with Scott taking silver (1:44.26) ahead of Brazil's Fernando Scheffer (1:44.66).

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Emotional Tom Daley pays tribute to late father after winning gold in synchronised 10m platform diving
Sports

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Emotional Tom Daley pays tribute to late father after winning gold in synchronised 10m platform diving

Daley, 27, who revealed that he might have missed the Games after knee surgery, wiped away tears on the podium as he finally added gold to the bronzes he won at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games.