19:31 GMT13 May 2021
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    Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono has stated that Tokyo is deeply concerned about a no-deal scenario for the UK withdrawal from the EU, adding that such a scenario would have a very negative impact on Japanese firms in the UK.

    Japan's top diplomat Kono has told BBC on Thursday that certain firms in his country have already initiated the process of moving their operations out of the United Kingdom to other countries in Europe.

    The official expressed his concerns over the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the car industry, fearing it could stall in the case of physical customs inspections. He also warned the candidates vying to replace Theresa May that Japanese investment will leave the UK after its pullout from the EU without a deal.

    According to Kono, Tokyo has asked the UK government to clarify the impact of Brexit on Japanese firms operating in Britain.

    Touching upon UK-Japanese trade relations, the minister expressed his doubt that a free-trade agreement could be negotiated before the 31 October deadline.

    Nevertheless, the official said that Japan would gladly negotiate a new trade deal with post-Brexit Britain adding that the Trans-Pacific Partnership has no geographic boundaries.

    Japan is one of the biggest investors in the British economy. Previously, Tokyo urged the UK to minimise risks to Japan's businesses after Brexit.

    On 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a referendum. Initially scheduled for the end of March 2019, the Brexit deadline was moved to 31 October after the deal negotiated by Prime Minister May deal suffered numerous defeats in UK parliament, pushing her to announce her resignation, and paving the way for other top UK officials to replace her.


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