Japanese companies and investors would be forced to reassess their four-decade bet on the United Kingdom if there is a disorderly exit from the European Union that shattered supply chains and cut off access to the bloc, Reuters reported Japan’s ambassador saying.
Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, made the United Kingdom its favoured European destination for investment. The likes of Nissan, Toyota and Honda,were encouraged by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to use the country as a launchpad into Europe.
Brexit, worries Japanese investors. Many have expressed concern in private that a disorderly exit could turn upside down the entire business case for investing in British manufacturing.
Japan is one of the biggest sources of foreign direct investment in Britain, which its companies have long seen as a pro-business, liberal gateway into the rest of the EU.
“If those conditions drastically change and make it impossible for companies to adapt, they will have to consider very carefully how they will go about continuing business here in the UK,” Japan’s ambassador to London, Koji Tsuruoka, told Reuters.
“They like it here and they are happy being here,” Tsuruoka said. “The only hope that they are now wishing is that they will be allowed to continue to do good business here in the UK.”
Japanese companies have invested over 81 billion pounds in Britain, making its FDI the fifth-largest after the United States, Germany, France and the Netherlands, according to UK statistics.