After a series of delays, the United Kingdom left the European Union at the end of January. While Tokyo never wanted to see Brexit happen, it now has to make the most of it.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab visited Tokyo in early February as part of his first foreign tour after Brexit and held talks with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, where the two countries reaffirmed their commitment to build a “new partnership as ambitious, high standard and mutually beneficial as the Japan-EU EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement).”

As a statement, this is somewhat ambiguous and ambivalent. It does not speak about the exact nature of the bilateral arrangement the two countries are going to negotiate — a free trade agreement or something else, such as the idea of Britain joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership.