As the PM visits Tokyo, Japanese companies invested in the UK have voiced fears over single market access

Theresa May is under pressure to reassure Japanese companies over the likely impact of Britain’s exit from the European Union on their UK investments when she visits Tokyo this week.

The prime minister will arrive on Wednesday on a three-day trip that is expected to include a meeting with Emperor Akihito and free-trade talks with her Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe. Under EU rules, official free-trade negotiations cannot begin until after Britain has left the trading bloc. But the prospect of informal discussions will boost claims by May and other pro-Brexit politicians that exiting the EU will leave Britain better placed to trade freely with major economies such as Japan and China.

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