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UK election surprise adds to Japanese Brexit worries

Corporate leaders fear 'out of control' negotiations on break with EU

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Nissan Motor, which operates a car plant in northern England, is among those navigating the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The surprising setback for Prime Minister Theresa May in the U.K. general election Thursday increases the uncertainties surrounding Britain's planned exit from the European Union and leaves Japanese companies with local operations bracing for instability.

May's Conservative Party lost its outright majority in Parliament as the country prepares for upcoming Brexit negotiations with the EU. These affected Japanese companies may have no choice but to postpone key decisions related to tariffs, permits and approvals. Sharp swings in foreign exchange rates could throw earnings off track as well.

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