Today, the Japanese parliament approved a post-Brexit free trade deal with the UK, clearing the way for its enforcement January 1 next year. The goal is to ensure continuity in bilateral business operations beyond London's end of transition out of the European Union this month.
The deal was signed by Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and British International Trade Secretary Liz Truss in Tokyo in October, but now it has passed the upper house following its approval by the lower house last month. The UK still needs to complete its domestic ratification procedures for the pact to enter into force.
The two countries needed to wrap up the deal as the existing Japan-EU pact will not cover Britain after the completion of the Brexit transition period in December and could result in impositions of higher tariffs on both countries.
While Japanese companies welcome the deal, those that operate both in the United Kingdom and in continental Europe are still wary about whether London will reach a free trade agreement with the bloc by the end of the transition period.