Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA)

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Organisation Score
Tokyo, Japan

Climate Lobbying Overview: The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) is actively engaged with a variety of climate policy streams in Japan and in Europe. Despite mixed top-line messaging on climate and the decarbonization of the electricity sector in Japan, JAMA has also lobbied negatively on others including regulation on gasoline and diesel engines.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: JAMA's top-line messaging on climate change is mixed. At a September 2021 press conference, Chairman Toyoda emphasized competitive disadvantage concerns for Japan around climate regulation, appearing to support less ambitious action.

In a press conference held in April 2021, (transcript published on JAMA blog webpage) the chair appears to again show broad support for climate neutrality targets, however, suggests there is no sole path in achieving this goal and that Japan needs an expansion/mix of technology option for GHG reduction. In the same statement, he indicates opposition towards regulation on diesel/gasoline engines, stating this could limit technology options and affect Japan’s competitiveness.

On a page published on JAMA’s blog in April 2021, they appear to acknowledge causal relationship between human activity, climate change and climate induced phenomena. The statement appears to support increased efforts to reduce emissions, but emphasizes the need to focus on reforming the energy mix rather than through the electrification of transport, stating the need to maintain a balance of vehicle types made available for consumers.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: In a response submitted to EU consultation on CO2 emissions for cars and vans (revision of performance standards) in February 2021, JAMA opposed zero-emission CO2 standards for light duty vehicles in the EU, as well as higher EU CO2 standards for 2025 and 2030. JAMA appeared unsupportive of an ambitious renewable energy directive by emphasizing cost concerns, while supporting the inclusion of road transport in the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) and the expansion of EV recharging infrastructure in their submission to the EU consultation on the Commission’s proposal on updating the EU ETS in November 2021. However, in its response to EU consultation on the Commission’s proposal for CO2 emissions for cars and vans in November 2021, they strongly opposed a 2035 zero-emission CO2 target in the EU for light duty vehicles, and appeared unsupportive of higher 2030 CO2 targets for light duty vehicles.

According to meeting minutes from the METI subcommittee on energy conservation and new energy in April 2021, JAMA advocated for flexibilities, such as EV credits and off-cycle credits to meet Japan’s 2030 fuel efficiency standards for passenger vehicles, that may weaken the policy’s stringency. At the same meeting, JAMA supported the transition of the energy mix, requesting the government to develop a plan to increase renewables domestically.

In October 2021, JAMA disclosed its public comment on the draft 6th Basic Energy Plan. While supporting vehicle electrification, JAMA called for “technology neutrality” with unclear implications for the decarbonization of the transport sector. And while JAMA argued that the availability of low-cost and stable renewable energy is an “urgent issue” for Japan, it appeared to oppose specific regulations that would require industrial energy users to shoulder the capital costs.

JAMA also disclosed its public comment on Japan’s draft Global Warming Countermeasures Plan in October 2021, where it supported the decarbonization of the power sector and referred to the promotion of renewables as an “urgent issue” for Japan.

In a press conference held in April 2021, JAMA’s chair, Akio Toyoda, appears to support the combined use of certain fuel types with ICE engines to reduce GHG emission from new and existing transport modes. However, in the same statement, he suggests that regulations and legislations should follow after the expansion in technology options, and that bans on gasoline-powered or diesel cars from the very beginning would limit such options, and could also cause Japan to lose its strengths.

In a JAMAGAZINE publication in 2021, JAMA have stated the need for policy and financial support from the government for decarbonized energy infrastructure, charging point infrastructure, cheap clean hydrogen supply infrastructure, and electric vehicle incentives including subsidies and tax breaks.

Positioning on Energy Transition: JAMA appears to have consistently supported a long-term role for hybrid vehicles in the transport sector over battery electric vehicles. A June 2022 Reuters article stated that JAMA Chairman, Akio Toyoda, appeared to have successfully pressured the Japanese government to promote hybrids over pure battery electric vehicles in Japan's annual economic policy roadmap.

Environmental statement on JAMA’s website, accessed in 2021 appears to support the uptake of next-generation vehicles (hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, clean diesel passenger vehicles, etc.) through the provision of government support including subsidies and tax reliefs, as well as investment into the needed infrastructure. However, in a November 2021 EU consultation response, JAMA appeared to oppose EU policy to phase out the sales of new ICE powered vehicles in 2035, instead promoting a long-term role of ICE vehicles in Europe and "technological neutrality."

In its strategy document “Long term vision for climate change mitigation”, JAMA appears to support increased infrastructure and provision of low/decarbonised energy sources in order to increase electrification of transportation (BEV/PHEV/FCEV).

An online report published on Toyota News of a press conference held in December 2021 indicates the chair suggested Japanese EV target cannot be met unless the national energy mix and infrastructure investment are re-considered. He appears to also suggest that with the current energy policy, the electricity needed for the production of EVs will need to come from thermal power plants, emitting large amounts of CO2. Furthermore, he stated that for Toyota to achieve carbon-neutrality, it will have to move its manufacturing out of Japan, to France for example, which has larger nuclear and renewables energy proportion compared to Japan.

A report from Reuters in Mar 2021 also suggests that Akio Toyoda has advocated for the transition of the national energy mix with increase in renewables, in order to support the decarbonization of the auto industry manufacturing in the country.

In 2020, in its position statement on the 2021 tax reform, JAMA however appears to support policy with a mixed impact on the transition of the transport vehicles - demanding extension of tax exemption scheme for greening vehicles and increasing hydrogen transport infrastructure, but also suggesting vehicle weight tax should be abolished for the foreseeable future.

Industry Association Governance: JAMA appears to have disclosed its board and general members. JAMA has only described its position on climate change policies in broad terms, without referencing specific policy items or describing engagement activities undertaken by the organization. It has disclosed some information regarding its climate change positions and direct engagement on climate relevant policy issues.

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