Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Trudeau makes investment pitch to Japanese automakers


May 24, 2016
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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May 24, 2016 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau personally invited Japanese auto executives Tuesday in Tokyo to invest more in Canada. But it’s unclear whether he will secure concrete commitments from the companies on his first trip to Japan since taking office last fall.

Today, Trudeau concluded his official working visit in Japan, which included an audience with the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He also met with auto parts manufacturers and the presidents of three auto companies: Honda, Toyota and Subaru.

According to The Canadian Press, the CEO of Fuji Heavy Industries, the firm that makes Subaru, told Trudeau he doesn’t have any plans to expand capacity in the near term, though he might in the future.

Unlike Toyota and Honda, Subaru does not have an operation in Canada.

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During his trip, Trudeau also took the opportunity to discuss trade opportunities, promote Canadian quality, and highlight Canada’s research and development capacity and innovation expertise.

For his part, Abe raised a pressing subject for the Japanese: regional security, and urged Trudeau to move quickly to open up Canadian liquefied natural gas exports to Japan.

Japan, the world’s biggest importer of LNG, is hoping Canada will issue necessary environmental permits to allow companies to export it from British Columbia.

Trudeau’s Tokyo visit comes ahead of the G7 summit on Thursday and Friday in Ise-Shima.

— With files from Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press