Japan's foreign ministry has taken the unusual step of publishing a very public Message to the United Kingdom and the European Union (PDF) in which it outlines how it wants Brexit to happen in order to protect the substantial investments its businesses have made in Europe and especially in the United Kingdom.
The document opens by stating that “Uncertainty is a major concern for an economy”, before going on to explain that Japanese businesses that have chosen to make major investments in the UK are worried about what Brexit will mean.
“What Japanese businesses in Europe most wish to avoid is the situation in which that they are unable to discern clearly the way the Brexit negotiations are going, only grasping the whole picture at the last minute.” The document therefore asks that the UK and the European Union negotiate transparently, provide lots of information about ongoing negotiations and offer decent advance warnings of any changes. Japan also hopes, fervently, that certain things don't change between Blighty and its continental pals.
High on that list is “maintaining the current level of information protection and the free transfer of data.”
Here's what Japan wants in that regard:
“To maintain the level of information protection and free transfer of data.
Once the UK is no longer bound by the EU’s data protection legislation, the smooth cross-border transfer of personal data between the UK and the EU may become difficult. This could affect ICT businesses conducting data centre operations based on their establishment in the UK with declining demand from data centre users such as Cloud operators managing personal data within the EU.
Furthermore, the transfer of information between a parent company and its subsidiaries could be affected.”
Japan also wants uniform intellectual property rights across the EU and UK and for Japanese businesses based in the UK to be able to employ Europeans. And vice-versa.
There's also a request “To allow Japanese businesses in the UK to continue their participation in various R&D projects and to obtain subsidies even after the UK’s withdrawal” plus a desire “To establish a framework to allow British researchers to continue to participate in Japan-EU joint research projects.”
Vulture South presents this story so that Reg readers can be appraised of Japan's desires at the earliest opportunity: we'll leave it to our London team to analyse the political implications of Japan's wish-list. ®