mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Japan to Britain: Stick It Out


The European Union doesn’t have a whole lot going for it these days. Its economy continues to spin its wheels, its bureaucrats spend much of their time pursuing asinine regulations and the monetary union is still in a profound crisis. Given the continued parade of negative headlines, British voters may be forgiven for questioning their country’s continued EU membership.

But leaving the EU would be bad for the UK, says Japan. In a letter to the British government, the Japanese embassy suggested that doing so would lead Japanese firms to cut back on investment in the country, costing it jobs and revenue:

“The UK, as a champion of free trade, is a reliable partner for Japan. More than 1,300 Japanese companies have invested in the UK, as part of the single market of the EU, and have created 130,000 jobs, more than anywhere else in Europe.

“This fact demonstrates that the advantage of the UK as a gateway to the European market has attracted Japanese investment.”

Right now, the UK offers foreign investors the best of both worlds: a stable, business-friendly government with unrestricted access to the European market. For all its flaws, the European Union remains a worthwhile project and, as Japan is reminding the UK, one for which membership still has its privileges.

[EU and UK flags image courtesy of Shutterstock]

Features Icon
show comments
  • Corlyss

    If I were the English, I wouldn’t believe the Japanese. Bidness is bidness. The Japanese will trade with whoever gives them the best value for money. The EU needs Britain more than the Britain needs the EU.

  • Leon J. Page

    An independent Britain would likely pursue free trade agreements — not only with Europe but, more importantly, with the growing, emerging markets outside of Europe. In any event, access to China, Brazil, and India, while reconnecting with other Comminwealth nations, is more important to Britain’s future than access to Spain and Italy. See:

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service