Association, Inc.

Issue No. 3, 2010

New chairman hosts JAMA's 2010 annual reception in Brussels on 29 June

The 14th JAMA annual reception took place on 29 June at the Royal Museum of Art and History in Brussels.  JAMA's new chairman, Mr Toshiyuki Shiga, also Chief Operating Officer of Nissan Motor Corporation, welcomed more than 150 attendees, including key stakeholders from the European institutions, EU Member States and industry representatives.

The theme of this year's event was "Clean & Energy-Efficient Vehicles and Driving Sustainability: A Common Approach to Economic Integration and a Low-Carbon Society".  JAMA recognises that low-carbon road transport is an urgent task which needs to be tackled globally.  Also, economic integration between EU and Japan will be pivotal to improving market access and facilitating the global supply chain for the automobile industry worldwide.  JAMA believes that EU and Japan working hand-in-hand to address these challenges can bring a significant contribution.

Our guest speaker from the European Commission, Mrs Ruth Paserman, Member of the Cabinet of Vice President Tajani responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, introduced the Commission's new strategy on clean and energy-efficient vehicles; its context as well as circumstances with regard to the implementation of the actions to be taken under this strategy.  She shared her view that cooperation between Japan and the EU is a significant contribution towards low-carbon societies.

From an industry perspective, Mr Toshiyuki Shiga first recalled in his address, JAMA members' contribution to European economies through their production, R&D, distribution and sales activities.  (see Article 2 for details of JAMA members' economic contribution in the EU.)

JAMA's chairman pointed out that enhanced competitiveness and low-carbon road transport are inextricably linked, extending JAMA's support toward EU policy and initiatives aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the EU auto industry, including CARS21 and strategy on clean and energy-efficient vehicles.  In accelerating the shift to low-carbon road transport, the automotive industry responds to environmental challenges by constantly making efforts toward conventional vehicles as well as cutting-edge eco-friendly vehicles, but at the same time recognising that it requires an integrated approach that would involve efforts from all stakeholders, namely automakers, fuel and power suppliers, governments and vehicle users themselves.

Mr Shiga also mentioned about JAMA's expectation with regard to cooperation between Japan and Europe in both economic and technical areas.  In the field of economic cooperation, Chairman Shiga welcomed the decision made at the EU-Japan summit in April 2010 in Tokyo to conduct a joint examination of ways to comprehensively strengthen and integrate the Japan-EU economic ties, in which both sides addressing areas of mutual interest, including tariff and non-tariff issues.  He noted that reinforcing the economic relationship between the EU and Japan as strategic partners through integration, will contribute to the sustainable development of the automobile industry worldwide and to improving our competitive strengths.

On the issue of technical cooperation, JAMA looks forward to the cooperation between the EU and Japan in both the government and industry level concerning the introduction of an International Whole Vehicle Type Approval (IWVTA), enabling an increased pace of international standards harmonization, and benefiting the auto industry as well as consumers.  In her address, Mrs Paserman commented that a review of the 1958 Agreement is necessary, together with support to adopting a Regulation on IWVTA.

JAMA calls for closer relations between the EU and Japan, and looks forward to strengthening its constructive dialogue with the EU policy-makers and its European counterparts.

The text of Mr Shiga's remarks is available here.