Fujitsu chairman adds voice to pro-EU push

Masami Yamamoto
Image caption Masami Yamamoto said the UK is the centre of the European Union

The chairman of Fujitsu has warned that if Britain leaves the European Union (EU) it would reconsider its investments in the UK.

Masami Yamamoto told the BBC that Britain was at the heart of the "European region" and that his company, the largest Japanese employer in the UK, wanted it to remain so.

"Regarding this Brexit issue, the UK remaining in the EU or not, of course the final decision is to be made by the British people," Mr Yamamoto said.

"But from our perspective we [would] really like the UK to remain in the EU because the UK is going to remain as the central economy in the European region and we would hope that the UK and the EU develop even further.

"Because we believe the UK is the centre in the European region, that's why for the last decade we have already made £3bn in investments.

"If there is any change, either the UK remaining in the EU or not, of course we have to be careful about watching the process and also the outcome and then decide whether we are going to make any further investment or not."

Mr Yamamoto was speaking during a visit to Tokyo by George Osborne, who is in Japan for the G7 summit in Sendai which starts tonight.

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"The UK is the centre of the European Union, in terms of the culture, in terms of the economy," Mr Yamamoto said.

"Fujitsu has a quite big business in Europe and we have the hub or centre in the UK and so from our perspective the UK is a really important European economy for us.

"We have been making the most investment in the UK within the European region. We would like to see the entire EU regional market as one single market."

Fujitsu, which employs 14,000 people in the UK, is the latest company to publicly come out in favour of the remain campaign.

Its European head did sign the pro-remain business letter published in The Times at the start of the campaign.

This morning, Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York and the man who founded the financial data business that bears his name, said that the risks of leaving the EU were "troubling".

Many of the interventions have been dismissed by the pro-Leave camp, which says that larger businesses speak up for the European Union because they are part of a "cosy club".

The Employment Minister, Priti Patel, said "of course Brussels is good for big businesses - they can afford to spend huge amounts of money on lobbyists and lawyers to help them stitch up the rules".