Japan’s Message to the United Kingdom and the European Union
Japan shares basic values and enjoys strong partnerships with the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) in various fields including politics, the economy and security. We expect to continue cooperating and collaborating closely for international peace, stability and prosperity. It is in the interests of the world including Asia that an open Europe be upheld. Japan will continue to share with the UK and the EU the responsibility to lead the free trade system. In this regard, we will be sending a strong message by reaching agreement in principle on the Japan-EU EPA within this year. Uncertainty is a major concern for an economy. We hope that predictability is secured whereby all stakeholders, not just the negotiating parties, have a clear idea of the post-BREXIT landscape. This will be possible if the BREXIT negotiations are conducted through an uninterrupted and transparent process, which could include arrangements such as the establishment of a provisional period and, if there need to be institutional changes, the granting of time for the transition and publicising of such changes. A considerable number of Japanese businesses operating in Europe are concentrated in the UK. We have been informed of a variety of requests that these businesses have in relation to BREXIT including: maintenance of trade in goods with no burdens of customs duties and procedures; unfettered investment; maintenance of an environment in which services and financial transactions across Europe can be provided and carried out smoothly; access to workforces with the necessary skills; and harmonised regulations and standards between the UK and the EU. The Government of Japan trusts that the UK and the EU, by heeding such requests to the fullest extent and responding to them in a cooperative manner, will maintain the current business environment or alleviate the impacts of any radical changes, so as to remain an attractive destination for doing business. Japan is willing to cooperate so that the process of negotiations for the UK’s withdrawal would move forward smoothly without causing major disturbance to the world economy.
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