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Business Day Japan discusses the future of automobility

Top international companies present their contributions to the mobility of the future.

This year's Business Day Japan on 28 May 2018 in Düsseldorf was themed "The future of automobility – technological innovations from Germany and Japan". The event was opened by Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Minister of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Mayor Thomas Geisel, the Japanese Consul General Ryuta Mizuuchi and the President of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Akinori Okumura. This year a new registration record was set with 390 registered participants.

Increased efficiency, lightweight construction, networked driving: In all phases – from development through production to application – the automotive industry in Germany and Japan is facing great challenges.

Economics and Digital Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart: "The state of North Rhine-Westphalia is preparing intensively for the future of automobility. We are open to various technologies and support different drive technologies. In the field of electromobility, our state has recently developed into one of the most dynamic regions in Europe. We expressly welcome German-Japanese joint projects, not only as innovation drivers for forward-looking mobility concepts, but also as a contribution to achieving climate protection goals."

Ryuta Mizuuchi, Japanese Consul General in Düsseldorf: "In view of the imminent signing of the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Japan, I very much hope that cooperation within the German-Japanese business community here will be further intensified. The automotive industry is facing the greatest change in its history and must prepare itself for huge challenges, not only e-mobility but also other new technologies and their applications. Japan and Germany must therefore jointly form an offensive dual leadership; teamwork is indispensable."

Mayor Thomas Geisel: "The Business Day shows good examples of our partnership-based cooperation – for example on the question of how we will shape transport and mobility in the future. Mobility, especially automotive mobility, is an important future topic, especially for growing cities like Düsseldorf. Japanese companies are among the innovation drivers in this field and also active in Düsseldorf and NRW – and Düsseldorf is one of the most innovative locations in Germany".

Akinori Okumura, President of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Düsseldorf, explained: "The future of automobility is an important topic for Germany and Japan, which are both traditionally strong countries in car manufacturing. The future orientation of this industry in our two countries is also of great importance globally. This makes it all the more important for industry representatives from both countries to engage in an exchange on future prospects, technological innovations and opportunities for cooperation. The Business Day Japan at the "Japan" location NRW is ideally suited for this purpose."

The automotive industry has reached a turning point. Requirements regarding efficiency, environmental friendliness, security, connectivity and flexibility are increasing. In his keynote speech, Arndt G. Kirchhoff, CEO of Kirchhoff Automotive Holding and Vice President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), addressed the topic "Suppliers in Transition: Between Digitization and Electromobility". Shinishiro Oka, General Director of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association Inc. (JAMA), presented in his keynote speech "Japan's vision of mobility and the possibilities of Japanese-German cooperation".

Specialist information, testimonies

Top companies from Germany and Japan presented and discussed the future prospects of the industry, technological innovations and opportunities for cooperation across borders.

Mariko Feldmann, Deputy Director of Toyota Motor Europe, presented the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 concept with the aim of achieving zero emissions throughout the entire vehicle cycle. Stefan Koetz, CEO of Ericsson, presented examples of cross-industry research and development cooperations on the way to 5G technology. Hiromi Nakafutami, General Manager of Asahi Kasei, presented his technologies and solutions in the field of lightweight construction, tires and applications for car batteries. Uwe Westmeyer, Solution Manager at Renesas Electronics Corporation, presented the latest contributions to the area of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. Dr. Jörg Salomon, Vice President of Streetscooter, reported on experiences with electromobility cars in continuous use, looking at the development from a startup to Germany's largest electromobility project. The best practice examples were rounded off by ThyssenKrupp: Dr. Reinholf Achatz, CTO, informed the participants about automobility in the context of the energy transition and the resulting new possibilities and challenges.

Background: Against the backdrop of Japan's largest corporate presence in continental Europe in Düsseldorf and North Rhine-Westphalia, the Business Day Japan has offered a unique platform for German-Japanese economic exchange since 2002. It addresses German and Japanese business representatives with topics of current interest.

This year a new registration record was set with 390 registered participants.

Organizers: Ministry of Economic Affairs, Digitization, Innovation and Energy of the State of NRW, NRW.INVEST GmbH, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Düsseldorf, State Capital Düsseldorf

Partners: German-Japanese Business Network (DJW), Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Düsseldorf (IHK)

Gold sponsors: ANA All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd., Chroma, Daikin, Fujitsu, Mitsuho

Silver sponsors: Commerzbank AG, Hitachi, Competence Network Environmental Economics.NRW, Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsui & Co., Mitsubishi UFG-Bank