First external Toyota board directors OK’d

JIJI

Shareholders of Toyota Motor Corp. approved the appointment of three people, including former General Motors Vice President Mark Hogan, as its first-ever outside board directors at an annual general meeting of its shareholders Friday.

The other two are former National Tax Agency Commissioner Haruhiko Kato, 60, and former Nippon Life Insurance Co. President Ikuo Uno, 78.

The business environment surrounding the Japanese automotive industry is improving, Toyota President Akio Toyoda said at the outset of the shareholder meeting, held at the top Japanese automaker’s head office in the city of Toyota, Aichi Prefecture.

“The yen’s strength is being corrected, the U.S. auto market is recovering and the markets in emerging economies are expected to expand,” he said.