TOKYO (AP) — The leaders of Germany and Japan say they will try to minimise the global economic impact from Britain’s upcoming departure from the European Union, and are pledging to maintain free trade in the face of rising protectionism.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Britain to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

The two were speaking Monday at a joint news conference in Tokyo after holding talks. Merkel’s two-day Japan visit comes after a Japan-EU free trade deal went into force Friday.

Abe said Japan and the EU were now the world’s biggest economic zone and together they would work to keep the global economy growing.

Japan and Germany also agreed on the exchange of classified information to step up bilateral security and counter-terrorism cooperation.