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Japan's Abe says he hopes a no-deal Brexit will be avoided

British Prime Minister Theresa May and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hold a press conference after a bilateral meeting in London, Britain January 10, 2019. Stefan Rousseau/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday he hoped Britain and the European Union would avoid a no-deal Brexit.

“It is the strong will of Japan to further develop this strong partnership with the UK, to invest more into the country and to enjoy further economic growth with the UK,” Abe said through a translator at a news conference in London alongside British Prime Minister Theresa May.

He added: “That is why we truly hope that a no-deal Brexit will be avoided and in fact that is the wish of the whole world.”

Abe added that he welcomed Britain’s interest in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bloc.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by Stephen Addison