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Japanese auto manufacturers will stick to their plans to globalize
operations in a move to avoid possible friction with the nation’s trade
partners, industry leaders said Thursday.

The remark was made during a meeting between Mitsuo Horiuchi, minister for
international trade and industry, and representatives from the Japan
Automobile Manufacturers Association, according to a MITI official.
Horiuchi called on industry leaders to make efforts to expand opportunities
for foreign auto parts suppliers in line with the 1995 U.S.-Japan auto
agreement, the official said.

JAMA Vice Chairman Hiroshi Okuda, who is also president of Toyota Motor
Corp., pledged efforts to avoid possible friction, citing the localization
of production bases as an “important means” to do so. He was quoted as
telling the minister the short-term currency crisis will not affect the
stance of Japanese automakers.

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