October 1, 2012

JAMA Comments Prompted by Launch of New Noda Cabinet

Akio Toyoda, Chairman, Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc

Japan continues today to try to overcome the many hardships caused by the tragic disaster of March 11 last year.  The private sector is a key force in this process, contributing to and supporting the task of rebuilding through a steady stream of new initiatives.

Against that backdrop, the automobile industry faces unprecedented sustained yen appreciation, a high corporate tax rate, a slowdown in trade liberalization, strict domestic labor regulations, stringent goals for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and a restricted electric power supply.  The combined result is an extremely severe business environment for our sector.

Anxiety has also arisen over the territorial dispute with China, the impact of which is being felt by the Japanese automobile industry and the national economy even as it threatens livelihoods, impedes cultural exchanges and fuels other disturbing trends.

At home, meanwhile, no further time should be wasted in moving to abolish Japan’s automobile acquisition and tonnage taxes ahead of the impending hike in the national consumption tax. 

On the occasion of the launch of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s new Cabinet, JAMA therefore solicits the government’s understanding of the extraordinary efforts being made by the private sector to address the difficulties it confronts at present—difficulties which, for the automobile industry, are testing the very limits of our capacity.  To help secure a brighter future, we call for decisive leadership by Prime Minister Noda in mobilizing the full range of the government’s resources to take the action needed to resolve, without delay, the many problems Japan faces today.