Japanese businesses might pull investment out of the U.K if their “requests are not met” during ‘Brexit‘ negotiations, warned the country’s ambassador in Britain during an interview with the BBC on Monday.
Ambassador Koji Tsuruoka warning comes after a strongly-worded memo was issued by Japan’s foreign on Sunday. The 15-page document spelled out Japan’s worries for its companies operating in Britain and called for British Prime Minister Theresa May and the E.U. to negotiate a deal that safeguarded almost all of the U.K.’s rights in the single market.
The memorandum, which was issued as May was attending the G20 summit in China, also said that Japanese companies could relocate their headquarters from Britain to European countries “if E.U. laws cease to be applicable in the U.K. after its withdrawal.”
Tsuruoka says Japan hopes Brexit will be “a success” and businesses he spoke to think Britain is the “best place to do business in Europe.” He told the BBC: “Their [Japanese businesses] duty is to produce profits – if the way Brexit ends up does not provide companies with a prospect of making sufficient profits to continue operating in the U.K. of course there’s no option they cannot choose – all options are open.”
He also said that it was hard to “imagine” that Japanese companies would leave the U.K. in totality, but added: “There is a negotiation that will have to be conducted. If there are variations, if those requests are not met, it will be up to the industry to decide what to do.”