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Origins and Consequences of European Crises: Global Views on Brexit

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Edited By Birte Wassenberg and Noriko Suzuki

Almost sixty years after the signature of the Treaty of Rome in 1957 creating the European Community), a Member-State, the United Kingdom, has for the first time in history decided to leave the European Union. The "yes" to leave vote during the British referendum on 26 June 2016 led to the use of Article 50 of the EU Treaty triggering off a long period of negotiations between the UK and the EU, which was overshadowed by a permanent struggle between the options of a "deal" or a "no-deal". The Withdrawal Agreement was finally signed on 24 January 2020 and Brexit actually took place on 31 January 2020 – more than three and a half years after the referendum. It is not surprising that a lot of analyses have been put forward to explain the British electoral result, mainly from the perspective of political sociology. However, there has been less research so far on the deeper roots of Brexit as a historical and political process and its development from the start of the referendum campaign until the end of the negotiations between the UK and the EU, nor on its possible social, economic, legal and (geo)political consequences.

In order to examine the origins and consequences of Brexit, this publication develops two original perspectives. On the one hand, it has taken a pluridisciplinary approach comparing the point of views of sociologists, political scientists, legal experts and historians. On the other hand, it has adopted a global approach by comparing the analyses of Japanese, Canadian, American and European researchers. These "Global Views on Brexit" regroup the contributions to an international Conference on "The Consequences of Brexit" organised on 6-7 December 2018 in Strasbourg, in the framework of the Jean Monnet project on Crises in European Border Regions supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union (EU) for the period from 2018-2020.

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European Union-Japan Relations in the Shadow of Brexit (Ken Masujima)

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Ken Masujima

We are at a historical turning point in the development of the European Union (EU). The second largest economy of the EU, the UK, left the EU. This event is sure to have an impact on any foreign relations that the EU has in the world. This is more so with Asia, which had close historical ties with the UK. The relationship between Japan and the EU is no exception to this. This chapter therefore investigates first the role of the UK, and then the impact of Brexit that hinges upon that relationship.

Most analysts of the relations between the EU and Japan note the important role that the UK played in their development.1 There are three specific roles that the UK played in EU-Japan Relations.

The UK is often considered as a gateway for Japanese corporations interested in being present in the EU. The sheer fact of the concentration of most Japanese investment in the UK is a testimony to that gateway role. For Japan, the UK is the second largest destination of foreign investment after the US. As of 2017, about 1,000 Japanese corporations ←215 | 216→operated in the UK, employing roughly 160,000 workers.2 It is therefore natural that Japan relied on the UK for protecting its interests within the EU. Compared with China, which invested more in Eastern Europe and is said to be in relatively better shape to face challenges of Brexit, for Japan, this dependency...

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