by Brexit,” said Paul Bacon, a professor at Tokyo’s Waseda University who specializes in Japan’s relations with Europe. “It
is obvious here how economically damaging it will be, and also that it creates serious difficulties for Japan
ese industry.”Britain is set to leave the European Union in less than 40 days, but Prime Minister Theresa May has failed to
secure parliamentary backing for her plan for what happens next, heightening fears of a disorderly departure.
That’s infuriating for Japanese businesses and government officials, who have been aski
ng for years for reassurances that British leaders would limit the harmful effects of Brexit.
The “trust has evaporated” between Japanese companies and the UK government, s
aid Seijiro Takeshita, a professor at the University of Shizuoka’s School of Management and Information.
apan Inc has poured billions into the UK economy. More than 1,000 Japanese companies do bus
iness in the country, supporting more than 140,000 jobs, according to the most recent Japanese government figures.
Many of them used the United Kingdom as a launchpad into Europe. But if the country
exits the EU’s unified market, “it makes no sense for Japanese industries to base themselves in the UK,” Bacon said.
Around 60% of Japanese firms in the United Kingdom surveyed by the Japan External Trade Or
ganization in the fall of 2018 said they expected Brexit to have a negative impact on their future business.