Association, Inc.

Issue No. 2, 2008

New chairman hosts JAMA’s annual reception in Brussels
on 1 July 2008

JAMA 2008 reception

The 13th annual JAMA reception took place at the Residence Palace in Brussels on 1 July with over 180 participants.  JAMA’s new chairman Mr Satoshi Aoki (also Chairman of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.) hosted the event, welcoming key actors from the EU Institutions, EU Member States and industry.

Petra ErlerRemarks at this year’s reception focussed on the challenges of climate change and globalisation, which will continue to weigh very heavily on the automobile sector’s overall competitiveness in the years to come.

European Commission Vice President and Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, Mr Günter Verheugen, was represented by his Head of Cabinet Ms Petra Erler.  Ms Erler spoke about the importance of the Japanese automobile manufacturers’ contribution to the European economy, CO2 emissions, and the forthcoming CARS 21 review.

In his address, Mr Aoki also highlighted the contribution that JAMA members make to European economies not only through production and sales, but also through research and development.  Mr Aoki

On the issue of climate change, Mr Aoki argued that significant reductions in road transport CO2 had become “imperative”.   Outlining for the assembled audience the intensive efforts JAMA members have devoted to the development and market introduction of eco-friendly automobiles including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric, fuel-cell and other environmentally-advanced vehicles, he went on to emphasise the need for cooperative efforts by all relevant actors in the four areas of greater fuel efficiency, improved road traffic flow, diversified automotive fuel supply and more efficient vehicle use.

Chairman Aoki also spoke about the importance of sharing sectoral “best practices”—be it the steel, electric power, road transport or other major industrial sector—in determining the actual status of CO2 emissions and then reducing those emissions, with the aim of individual countries’ implementing those best practices in such a way as to be compatible with local conditions.  Mr Aoki noted that, in the ongoing international negotiations for a post-Kyoto Protocol framework, there was a growing appreciation of the effectiveness of the sectoral approach.  He explained that JAMA hoped to secure the cooperation of the EU for the sectoral approach in order to target road-transport CO2 reduction on a global scale, involving the joint efforts of both developed and developing countries.

In concluding his keynote speech, the JAMA chairman emphasised that the many serious issues now facing the automobile industry worldwide, including climate change and energy, cannot be satisfactorily addressed by one country or a single corporation.  All concerned entities, he argued, should pool their knowledge and experience and work within a context of mutual cooperation to resolve the challenges involved.

The text of Mr Aoki’s remarks is available here.