ONS (2020). Total UK trade: all countries, not seasonally adjusted. UK goods exports to Japan accounted for 1.9% ($7.262 million in 2019) of total exports of goods and services 1.6% ($7.987 million in 2019) of total services exports. A major shortcoming is that the investment component of the EU-Japan EPA, which only covers investment liberalization, seems to remain intact. The UK government could have been firmly committed to Japanese investment for three reasons, including a full investment chapter, which includes investment protection and dispute resolution. First, the continuation of investment liberalization in investment relations between Japan and the United Kingdom is no longer controversial, given that the investment policy framework is already quite liberal in both Japan and the United Kingdom Second, the EU-27 and Japan have agreed to negotiate a bilateral investment agreement but have not yet reached the agreement. The United Kingdom could have played a leadership role in this regard. Thirdly, the Japanese economy is interested in protecting investment in the UK, as there is no ILO between Japan and the United Kingdom, while 92 ILOs are in force in the United Kingdom.  Japan also just signed the massive Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RECP) trade agreement with China and the ten ASEAN members on 15 November, covering nearly a third of the world economy and concluding eight years of difficult negotiations.
"We are pleased that this agreement is not only emulated by the current EU-Japan rules on digital trade, but that it goes even further to improve them. This gives British companies full confidence in their relationships with Japanese companies by integrating some of the world`s most advanced data protection and sovereignty rules. This shows the high priority that both countries are in favour of the digital economy - a plan for the digital age that others will be sure to repeat. Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said: "It is of the utmost importance that the supply chain between the UK and the European Union be maintained after the UK`s withdrawal from the EU... Japan has high hopes of quickly reaching an agreement on negotiations between the UK and the EU on their future partnership. "In the past, it was said that an independent Britain was not in a position to conclude major trade agreements or that it would take years before it was concluded," Truss said in a joint press announcement with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi. "Our priority must now be to take advantage of this ambitious agreement to boost trade and encourage future investment. With the full digital chapter Technology has the potential to be one of the successes of this improved relationship.
"It ensures continuity, so that after the end of the year, if the UK is no longer treated as an EU member for international free trade agreements, trade with Japan can continue under the same conditions," he said. As Morita-Jaeger (2020) explained, the UK has been a hub for Japanese companies in Europe since the 1980s and a gateway to the EU market for Japanese companies. Recalling that the main concerns of Japanese investors are regulatory changes and an end to the free movement of people between the EU and the UK, the end of the smooth running of trade between the EU and the UK, even in the case of a free trade agreement between the EU and the UK, will inevitably have an impact on Japanese investment in the UK.