20 February 2024 | Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Manila, BGC

  • Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko;
  • Embassy of Japan Minister for Economic Affairs Daisuke Nihei;
  • Embassy of Japan Minister and Consul General Takahiro Hanada;
  • Toyota Motor Corporation Asia Deputy Chief Executive Officer Hao Quoc Tien;
  • Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Philippines President Mr. Shigeru Shimoda;
  • Japan External Trade Organization Executive Director Kazuo Nakamura;
  • Philippine Economic Zone Authority Director General Tereso Panga;
  • ladies and gentlemen—good evening.

Tonight, we gather to mark a chapter’s end and start a new era with the executive leadership of a leading company in the Philippines. With its spirit of celebration and transition, we pay tribute to the remarkable tenure of outgoing Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) President, Mr. Atsuhiro Okamoto.

We recognize his strong leadership that navigated TMP through challenges like the economic adversities from the COVID-19 pandemic. His dedication and problem-solving skills have propelled the company forward and significantly helped advance the Philippine economy. We bid farewell to Mr. Okamoto with our deepest gratitude for his outstanding contributions.

As we say goodbye to one exemplary leader, we welcome another, Mr. Masando Hashimoto, the incoming TMP President. His distinguished 17-year career with Toyota, marked by a sterling track record of achievements, brings a wealth of expertise and strategic vision to the organization. Under his

leadership, we expect continued innovation, sustained growth, and unwavering excellence within the Philippine automotive industry. On behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), I look forward to the boundless economic opportunities our partnership with Toyota Motor Philippines holds with Mr. Hashimito at its helm.

Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) has made significant contributions to the Philippine economy through substantial investments and the creation of high-quality jobs. In line with President Marcos Jr.’s vision for a revitalized Philippines, TMP’s commitment to local procurement has bolstered domestic industries, fostering growth and innovation. Additionally, by offering affordable vehicles, TMP has enabled micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to improve their efficiencies and expand their market reach, providing mobility that supports the local economy and aligns with the national agenda for sustainable progress and inclusive growth.

Over the years, the collaboration between the DTI and TMP has been instrumental in advancing the automotive industry in the Philippines. We have sustained completely knocked down (CKD) operations, which led to the successful production of iconic vehicles like the Vios, Innova, and the much awaited, Next-Generation Tamaraw. We have implemented the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program and

bolstered the country’s vehicle manufacturing capabilities. Furthermore, we have integrated transmission manufacturing into Toyota’s Regional Parts Complementation Scheme, which optimized production and firmly positioned the Philippines in the global supply chain.

These remarkable achievements underscore the vast horizons of partnership that await us with software development at its forefront. By working together with Toyota Motor Philippines and other local stakeholders, we are set to position the Philippines as a hub for automotive software innovation. This move will transform the digital transformation of transport and logistics, and enrich the mobility ecosystem in our country.

As we realize these economic frontiers, rest assured that the government’s support of the Philippine automotive industry remains unwavering, through strategic policies and incentives. We are committed to incentivizing investments that generate quality employment opportunities for our people.

Once again, let’s rise to the occasion and reaffirm our commitment to partnership and sustainable growth as we usher in a more sustainable, inclusive, prosperous automotive industry in our Bagong Pilipinas.

Thank you. Arigato gozaimasu. ♦

Date of release: 20 February 2024