Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has warned that a British exit from the European Union could negatively affect Japanese investment there.
"A vote to leave would make the U.K. less attractive as a destination for Japanese investment," Abe said Thursday at a news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London.
About 1,000 Japanese companies operate in Britain, employing 140,000 people, Abe said. Many are based there, he added, "precisely because [Britain] is a gateway to the EU."
"It is better for the world that Britain remain within a strong EU," he said. "We want to see Britain and Europe remain influential actors on the global stage, contributing to a rule-based peace and stability, including in Asia."
Cameron said Britain benefited from Japanese investments of around $55 billion.
On June 23, in a referendum called by the prime minister, British voters will decide whether to leave the 28-nation European Union.
Analysts say "Brexit" - the popular term in London for a British exit from the EU, would unleash volatility in foreign currency, stocks and bond markets, and leave questions about the fate of the British economy.
WATCH: What is Brexit?