Japan's ambassador to the UK has stressed that “all options are open” to Japanese businesses if Brexit negotiations do not meet demands.
Yesterday, the Japanese ministry of Foreign Affairs published a 15 page memo with a list of almost 20 demands, citing concerns from banks, automakers and pharmaceuticals businesses.
Without securing tariff-free trade to Europe, or passporting rights for financial services businesses, it warned that Japanese firms could seek to depart the UK.
And this morning, Japan's ambassador took the pressure on the UK government into a second day, stressing that while it was hard to imagine Japanese companies pulling out entirely from the UK, all options remain on the table.
Speaking on Radio 4's Today programme, Koji Tsuruoka said: “If the way Brexit ends up does not provide companies with a prospect of making sufficient profits to continue operating in the UK, of course there is no option that they cannot choose.”
Tsuruoka said that many Japanese businesses consider the UK the best place in Europe to do businesses, adding: “They want to continue to operate in the UK, but the list off issues that we have put up to the UK as well as to the EU are concrete issues that they are seeking to achieve.
“There is a negotiation that is going to have to be conducted and if they are variations or if those requests are not met, then it will be for the industry to decide what to do.”
It comes as Theresa May said she had met with the leaders of five G20 nations who wanted to lower barriers to trade with the UK in the aftermath of Brexit.