Association, Inc.

Issue No. 2, 2014

The 16th JAMA Reception is held in Brussels in June

JAMA held its sixteenth Reception on 25 June in Brussels, welcoming over 100 representatives from EU institutions, Member States, and the automobile industry.  The theme of the event was ‘Economic advancement and transport sustainability: The road ahead for EU-Japan collaboration’, which was also the basis of the speech by the evening’s host, JAMA Chairman Fumihiko Ike of Honda.

Against the background of JAMA’s promotion of an economic partnership agreement (EPA) between the EU and Japan, Mr Ike first highlighted the contributions made to the European industry and the EU economy by Japanese automobile manufacturers (see details in the next article).  Stating that sustainable motorisation is predicated upon the resolution of common issues, he discussed the principal challenges of environmental protection and energy conservation, in response to which Japanese and European automakers are focusing their efforts on the reduction of vehicle CO2 emissions, increased fuel efficiency, and the use of alternative fuels and energy sources—in a number of cases, he pointed out, through alliances established between them.

JAMA’s chairman also underscored the commitment of Japanese and European automakers to international standards harmonisation.  With about half of total worldwide vehicle production now taking place in emerging economies, Japan and the EU are leading advocates for the adoption of internationally harmonised technical regulations in those countries.

Reaffirming JAMA’s support for the early conclusion of negotiations on an EU-Japan EPA, Mr Ike argued in his remarks that such an agreement will be pivotal to promoting economic growth on both sides and expanding bilateral cooperation on common issues, with positive consequences for the global automotive industry as well.

The evening’s guest speaker was Director General João Aguiar Machado of the European Commission’s DG Mobility and Transport.  After emphasising that an EU-Japan EPA would bring economic benefits to both sides, Director General Aguiar Machado then detailed the Commission’s objectives and goals in terms of current and projected transport policies, specifically in relation to its CARS 2020 and Clean Power for Transport action plans.  Stressing the need for bold innovations in Intelligent Transport Systems for expanded multimodality, better real-time traffic management, and the achievement of connected mobility, Mr Aguiar Machado saluted the successful cooperation between European and Japanese automakers in the area of next-generation mobility and called for further such cooperation in future.

To resolve common issues, the Japanese auto industry intends to work in cooperation with all the stakeholders concerned.  In his closing remarks, Mr Ike asserted that the EU is and will remain a key partner in these efforts.  Accordingly, JAMA and its members look forward to continued close collaboration with their European counterparts, underpinned by constructive dialogue and the timely conclusion of an EU-Japan EPA.