Europe

Japan's Abe: Leaving EU could hurt Japanese investment in UK

  • Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, right, and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands after addressing the media during a press conference at 10 Downing Street in London, Thursday, May 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)

    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, right, and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands after addressing the media during a press conference at 10 Downing Street in London, Thursday, May 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe leaves 10 Downing Street in London, after a meeting with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, Thursday, May 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe leaves 10 Downing Street in London, after a meeting with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, Thursday, May 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)  (The Associated Press)

  • Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, left, speaks to Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, as they meet at 10 Downing Street in London, Thursday, May 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)

    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, left, speaks to Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, as they meet at 10 Downing Street in London, Thursday, May 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Britain will be a less attractive destination for Japanese investment if it leaves the European Union.

Abe became the latest world leader to weigh in on Britain's EU debate during a visit to London on Thursday.

He told reporters at a news conference with Prime Minister David Cameron that "Japan's interests are also at stake" in Britain's June 23 referendum on EU membership.

He said that "Japan very clearly would prefer Britain to remain within the EU" and noted that 1,000 Japanese businesses in Britain employ some 140,000 people.

Abe said many were based in Britain "precisely because the U.K. is a gateway to the EU. A vote to leave would make the U.K. less attractive as a destination for Japanese investment."