Fumihiko Ike, chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, said Tuesday he doesn’t think last week’s military coup will have a major impact on the production operations of Japanese carmakers in Thailand.
“There have been some protest rallies, but there were few cases in the past that rallies directly impacted our business,” Ike, who is also chairman of Honda Motor Co., said in his first group interview since he took over at JAMA in mid-May.
Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda resumed production on Friday after suspending night-time operations on Thursday because of a military-imposed curfew.
Though he said the situation in Thailand requires careful monitoring, Ike noted the Southeastern Asian country will continue to be an attractive destination for investment.
“From my personal experience, we have been able to continue to invest (in Thailand) with peace of mind since policies don’t change easily” unless the top of the bureaucracy changes, Ike said in Tokyo.
He added that Thailand’s Board of Investment, a government agency, remains committed to encouraging investment in the country.
Ike lived in Thailand from 2008 to 2011 as president and director of Asian Honda Motor Co.
“Though I haven’t spoken to all of the Japanese automakers about this, I assume they still have a strong incentive to invest (in Thailand),” he said.
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