October 2, 2018

JAMA Comment on Prime Minister Abe’s New Cabinet
Akio Toyoda, Chairman, Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc.

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) welcomes today’s announcement of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet reshuffle. We hope that, on the basis of political stability, the Abe administration’s accomplishments so far and the prime minister’s strong leadership, the new Cabinet will effectively carry out critical policies including the promotion of a productivity revolution, premised on cutting-edge innovation and unprecedented human resources development, to achieve Abe’s 600-trillion-yen GDP target.

The automobile industry is in a once-in-a-century period of major transition as it shifts its focus to vehicle connectivity, automated driving, car-sharing and electrification (or “CASE” as they are sometimes referred to) technologies. Further, the rise of protectionism adds an element of uncertainty taking into account the industry’s globalized operations.

Amid this tremendous wave of change, there is, meanwhile, an urgent need to facilitate vehicle ownership and use in Japan not only for the benefit of consumers, but also to help sustain automakers’ competitiveness and protect employment in automobile manufacturing and its vast array of supporting industries.

While JAMA member manufacturers deeply appreciate the Japanese government’s unflagging promotion of free and fair trade, we take this opportunity to request the implementation this year of bold measures to reduce the extremely heavy burden of automobile-related taxes, compared with most other countries, on vehicle users in Japan.

Even as we take on the many challenges facing us in this transition period, the provision of safe, reliable and appealing products to consumers will remain our top priority and enable us to continue to contribute to the sustainable development of the national and local economies.