• Kyodo News


Automakers and business leaders here hope General Motors Corp.’s bankruptcy and subsequent U.S. government measures will help get the ailing auto giant quickly back on its feet to stem the ill effects on the economy.

“It is important that GM works toward an early rehabilitation, which will lead to the development of the auto industry as a whole,” Toyota Motor Corp. President Katsuaki Watanabe said.

“We hope for a solid market recovery.”

Watanabe also said Japan’s top automaker and GM plan to continue their car manufacturing joint venture in California, which dates back to 1984.

New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. produces the Toyota Corolla and Tacoma pickup truck as well as GM’s Pontiac Vibe.

Toyota said in an official comment it hopes the bankruptcy proceedings and the U.S. government aid “will stabilize GM’s business and lead to the competitive health of the entire industry.”

Japan’s top business leader, Fujio Mitarai, said the effective nationalization of GM will be “a short-term and exceptional measure” and was “an inevitable choice” to minimize the huge adverse impact on the U.S. economy.

“I hope this will allow GM to make a fresh start so it can be reborn as an even more powerful company,” said Mitarai, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren).

But Mitarai, who is also chairman of Canon Inc., added that while General Motor’s problems were triggered by the global recession, they were also the result of a gradual social transition to energy efficiency and environmental friendliness.

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