© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Visitors wearing protective masks, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, attend Tokyo Auto Salon 2022 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, east of Tokyo, Japan January 14, 2022. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said he hopes to hold a meeting by the government and the heads of automakers to talk about the future of the automobile industry as early as next month, Kyodo news agency said on Sunday.
“The automobile industry is entering a period of major transformation,” Nishimura told reporters on Saturday in California where he visited Toyota Motor (NYSE:) Corp’s research facilities, according to Kyodo.
The head of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry was visiting the United States to attend the U.S.-led Indo Pacific Economic Framework trade negotiations.
“We would like to discuss the early introduction of autonomous driving and measures to promote its widespread use,” Nishimura said.
In the meeting, to be joined by Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida with relevant ministers and leaders of automakers, the roles of the automobile industry in a decarbonised society will be also on the agenda, he said, according to Kyodo.
Kishida unveiled the idea of the meeting on a June visit to a Toyota plant.