The UK Government is carrying out a review of the EU’s competences, which the Foreign Secretary launched in July 2012. This is an audit of what the EU does and how it affects the UK. As a part of the review process, the UK Government called upon various entities including foreign governments to contribute evidence from their respective viewpoints on the subject. In response, the Government of Japan has submitted the comment featured below as its contribution to the review.
The Government of Japan understands that this issue should be primarily reviewed and studied by the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (hereinafter referred to as the “UK”) and its people from a long-term perspective. At the same time, it hopes that the review will be a constructive contribution for both the UK as a Member State of the European Union (hereinafter referred to as the “EU”) and the entire EU.
Japan shares with the UK fundamental values as well as interests and responsibilities regarding the challenges which the international community is facing. Our two countries have been working closely not only in a bilateral context but also in the context of Japan-EU relations. The Government of Japan appreciates the role that the UK has played in the activities of the EU in various fields such as politics, the economy and security.
Meanwhile, the Government of Japan recognises that the EU has a large presence and influence in the international community. The Government is committed to making its relationship with the EU stronger than ever before. In this context, it expects that the UK will maintain a strong voice and continue to play a major role in the EU.
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. The Government of Japan expects the UK to maintain this favourable role.
Furthermore the Government appreciates that the UK has been leading the process of deregulation or the rationalisation of regulations within the EU and has contributed significantly to making the EU market more attractive for foreign companies. In this context, Japanese companies operating in the UK look forward to further progress in deregulation or the rationalisation of regulations through the EU mechanism. The Government of Japan expects the Government of the UK to continue to strive for the completion of the Single Market of the EU.
In addition, the Government of Japan expects that certain aspects of the EU’s external relations, such as the speed of decision-making or the clarity of the channels of communication, will be further improved through the review.