On 27 June the British Ambassador to Japan, Tim Hitchens, delivered a message from the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.
The message noted the results of the UK’s referendum on EU Membership. It also described the steps being taken to ensure economic stability, and highlighted the continuing strength and shared priorities of the UK-Japan partnership.
The message read:
Thank you for Prime Minister Abe’s support for the UK to remain in the EU during his visit to the United Kingdom in May this year.
The Prime Minister said on 24 June that the UK has just taken part in a giant democratic exercise – perhaps the biggest in our history. The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected.
Across the world people have been watching the choice that Britain has made. We would reassure markets and investors that Britain’s economy is fundamentally strong. The Bank of England has set out the steps they are taking to reassure financial markets.
We must now prepare for a negotiation to exit the EU. We will want to work closely with all our major partners and investors, including Japan, as the process unfold. It is important to understand that – as the PM has said - there will be no immediate changes, in the circumstances of British citizens living in the EU nor for European citizens here, nor in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can move or the way our services can be sold.
The relationship between the UK and Japan remains both broad and deep. We share values; your G7 leadership demonstrated our common commitment to democracy and the rule of law. Our prosperity is greater when we work together; I particularly recognise and support the enormous role that Japanese investors play in the UK economy. And our cooperation on security issues makes us both safer; I look forward to a public demonstration of the depth of our security partnership with the Typhoon visit in the autumn.
Some things will not change after last week. Britain will always be capable of thriving and prospering on the world stage. We are a member of the UN Security Council, of NATO, of the G7 and the G20. Our voice will always be prominent and the UK will continue to be an influential and outward looking power on the world stage, working with partners – including Japan – for security and prosperity.