Association, Inc.

Issue No. 2, 2008

Address by Mr Satoshi Aoki
Chairman, Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association
JAMA Reception
, 1st July 2008


Thank you for the introduction.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good evening.  This is the first time, in my capacity as chairman of JAMA, that I am attending the reception here in Brussels, and I would like to say that it is a very great pleasure to welcome all of you tonight.

I would also like to express our thanks to Ms Petra Erler, Head of Cabinet under Commission Vice President Verheugen, for kindly conveying Mr Verheugen’s message to us.

We are honored that all our distinguished guests—including some from places more distant than Brussels—have joined us this evening.  I would also like to welcome Japan’s Ambassador to Belgium, Mr Azusa Hayashi.

Before continuing, allow me to express, on behalf of JAMA and all its members, our profound appreciation to all of you for your understanding and support in regard to the activities of the Japanese auto manufacturers in Europe and those of JAMA’s European Office here in Brussels.

Permit me also to impart a little personal information.  In the course of my career, I have been stationed in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy.  Those assignments helped form my very special feelings for Europe.  I am therefore doubly pleased to host tonight’s reception as JAMA chairman.     

JAMA member companies with operations in the EU contribute to European economies not only through production and sales, but also through research and development.  In recent years, JAMA members have devoted intensive efforts to the development, and market introduction, of eco-friendly motor vehicles.  More specifically, in addition to achieving greater fuel efficiency to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, Japanese auto manufacturers are making further progress in the development of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric, fuel-cell and other environmentally advanced vehicles.  We hope to supply these vehicles to more and more consumers worldwide, including Europe.     

Responding to global climate change has become a matter of increasing urgency with the steady rise in global CO2 emissions.  CO2 emissions in the road transport sector have contributed to that rise, and today account for about 20% of world CO2 emissions.  Studies of road transport CO2 emissions have shown a very close correlation between economic growth and increased motorization.  In view of the rapid economic growth taking place in, especially, the major developing countries of the world, the projections are for a further rise in global CO2 emissions in the road transport sector if no action is taken.  As we aim to achieve sustainability, significant reductions in road transport CO2 will therefore be imperative.

Assuming stakeholders’ cooperative efforts in the four areas of greater fuel efficiency, improved road traffic flow, diversified automotive fuel supply and more efficient vehicle use, our calculations have shown that CO2 emissions in global road transport could peak around 2025.

It is, in fact, through such efforts that road transport CO2 emissions in Japan have been on a steady downward trend since 2001.  Based on this experience, Japan’s automobile industry is now working with the Japanese government to promote the sectoral approach to CO2 reduction in road transport.

The sectoral approach refers to the worldwide sharing of sector-by-sector 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.  In the ongoing international negotiations for a post-Kyoto Protocol framework, there is a growing appreciation of the effectiveness of the sectoral approach.

Under the auspices of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, or APP, in which the seven nations of Australia, Canada, China, India, South Korea, the United States and Japan participate, work on the sectoral approach has already begun for eight specific sectors.  The Japanese government has proposed that a task force be launched to study the sectoral approach for road transport under the APP, and JAMA has backed this proposal.

The sectoral approach for road transport is different from the sectoral approach for steel, for example.  It requires the implementation of an integrated approach involving the combined efforts of the automotive industry, of government, of the fuel-supply and related industries, and of vehicle users themselves.  Moreover, the sectoral approach for road transport has to take into account the situation in each country with respect to the level of motorization and actual conditions concerning vehicle use.  This represents, therefore, a considerable challenge.

We hope to gain 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 developed and developing countries.  We look forward to working with all of you towards that goal.    

Clearly, 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.  It is essential, rather, that all concerned entities pool their knowledge and experience and work within a context of mutual cooperation to resolve the challenges involved.

Accordingly, while the Japanese automobile industry will continue to work energetically towards the achievement of sustainable mobility, it also hopes to engage in close, constructive dialogue with the European Union to that end.

Finally, our gathering here tonight will also, I hope, help promote greater mutual understanding and exchange between the automotive industries of Europe and Japan.

I thank you for your kind attention and wish you a very pleasant evening.