Happy New Year!
I hope everyone has had a good start of the brand-new year.
About one year has passed since the change of government in the end of 2012, and in that period, Japan’s economy has started taking steady steps toward recovery, thanks to the “three arrows” and other aggressive economic policies of the new Abe administration. On the other hand, there are still a number of people who are forced to live in evacuation shelters due to the Great East Japan Earthquake and the associated accident of the nuclear power plant. Further, various typhoons and heavy rains caused serious damage last year. My thoughts are with them and I am crossing my fingers that they will recover their usual life as quickly as possible.
Now, looking at the past year, the motor vehicle market of Japan started to gradually regain dynamism in the second half, and for the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show held in the fall at the Tokyo Big Sight, we are convinced that JAIA has played a part together with other co-organizers. The number of visitors exceeded the last show by a wide margin, indicating that automobiles are again coming under the spotlight.
The imported car market continued to post healthy sales, thanks to the introductions in series of the new models having exceptional environmental and safety performances. Furthermore, the advanced safety technologies employed in the latest models, such as the Autonomous Emergency Brake (AEB) systems, are capturing interest of the customers, suggesting that the next generation vehicles which drastically reduce traffic accidents are gradually becoming familiar products.
While further promoting such ambitious efforts, we are determined to continue broadly providing the Japanese customers with the “products of the world’s renowned brands” developed through the culture and histories of other countries and equipped with innovative technologies in the areas of safety and environment, contributing to the stimulation of the country’s motor vehicle market, and in turn growth of the economy as a whole, through the sound development of the imported car sector supported by thousands of employees in the import, wholesale, distribution and dealerships of the foreign brands.
For that end, we will coordinate with the ministries and associations concerned toward the promotion of the International Whole Vehicle Type Approval (IWVTA) for global harmonization of the safety and environmental standard and certification, as well as tax systems and other regulations concerned, in an attempt to deliver those attractive foreign models and technologies to our customers as quickly as possible.
Also for our motorcycle activities, which were commenced five years ago, we will be further carrying out various kinds of activities for market stimulation, while focusing on those tasks that take into account the needs of our member companies and customers, such as promotion of international harmonization of laws and regulations.
I would like to ask for your understanding and continued support, and I sincerely hope that 2014 will be a wonderful year for everyone.