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Japan's man in UK says unprofitable firms could not stay

Japan's man in UK says unprofitable firms could not stay
From BBC - February 8, 2018

Japan's ambassador to the UK has said Brexit is a high stakes issue and that no company would be able to stay in the UK if it was not profitable.

Koji Tsuruoka was speaking outside Number 10 after a meeting between Prime Minister Theresa May and 19 top Japanese bosses.

Mrs May had told the business leaders that Brexit would allow the UK to strike a free trade deal with Japan.

She said the government's industrial strategy made the UK "more attractive".

However, Mr Tsuruoka told journalists: "If there is no profitability of continuing operations in the UK - not Japanese only - no private company can continue operations. So it is as simple as that."

He was asked about the threat to Japanese companies if the UK did not secure a frictionless trade deal with the EU after Brexit.

"This is all high stakes that all of us, I think, need to keep in mind," he answered.

Pro-Brexit businessman John Mills, said: "Clearly companies have to make a profit.

"But there's no reason they should not make a profit with a WTO [World Trade Organisation] deal," added Mr Mills, who is chairman of consumer products firm, JML.

'No small undertaking'

During the meeting Mrs May told attendees from companies including Mitsubishi, Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Panasonic that Brexit was "no small undertaking".

She also said the government's modern industrial strategy made the UK "more attractive".

"Just today we have seen the Bank of England raise its forecast for UK growth compared with its estimates three months ago," Mrs May added.

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