Japan concerned about Brexit

Tokyo: The Japanese government on Friday expressed concern over Britain's referendum favouring those wishing to leave the European Union with the poll outcome affecting both stocks and forex markets here. Finance Minister and deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso told the media after the British "leave" camp won the poll that Japan is "very concerned over the risks to the global economy, finance and exchange markets". The government will monitor the situation "more than ever" and steadily take steps when needed so that volatile movements do not continue, Xinhua quoted Aso as saying. On Friday, Tokyo shares ended sharply lower with its benchmark Nikkei stock index losing nearly eight per cent on Brexit, marking the worst fall in over 16 years. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average plunged 1,286.33 points, or 7.92 per cent, from Thursday to 14,952.02. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 94.23 points, or 7.26 per cent, to 1,204.48. Japan's central bank (Bank Of Japan) said it will "stand ready to provide sufficient liquidity, including utilising swap arrangements" with the US and European central banks to "ensure the stability of financial markets". BOJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the central bank "will continue to carefully monitor how the result affects global financial markets" in close cooperation with relevant domestic and foreign authorities. Officials in the Japanese Foreign Ministry said the referendum result is extremely disappointing and may affect Japan's talks with the EU on their free trade agreement. The government here will convene a meeting involving relevant ministers on the Brexit referendum.