Hello everyone! Morizo here.
Eight years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake.
In the Tohoku region, we have many close partners and friends, including Toyota East Japan who continues to take on the challenge of making ever-better cars.
The Tohoku region is an important “hometown” for Toyota.
I visit the Tohoku region every year and now there are more new buildings. From what I can see now, it is difficult to believe that there was such an immense earthquake here just eight years ago.
I can still clearly recall how I felt on a fateful day when I was visiting the region after the disaster.
I remember telling myself that we should never forget this tragic earthquake that happened on March 11. In that earthquake, we as a people lost not only tangible things such as homes, but also irreplaceable loved ones, family and friends, as well as important memories. I wasn’t there, so I may not be able to fully understand the feelings of those affected by the earthquake. However, I hope we can continue to stay close to the victims’ hearts without forgetting about the disaster.
Then, one year after the earthquake, in July 2012, Toyota Motor East Japan was launched.
At that time, I made a commitment.
That commitment was to continue to move forward, even in the midst of great sadness.
It was a feeling of empathy towards others, the feeling of doing something not for myself but for someone else.
Above all, it was to keep the spirit of “never give up.”
But I believe the ones that truly embody this “never give up” spirit are the people in the Tohoku region.
It is precisely because of that spirit that I wanted to create a future for the Tohoku region together with everyone in the region through car manufacturing.
I felt that without the recovery of the Tohoku region, there is no recovery of Japan.
We wanted Toyota and Toyota Motor East Japan to be the driving force of this recovery.
The feelings I had at that time are still strong today.
But they are not just about the Tohoku region.
Last year, many natural disasters hit the islands of Japan.
Living in Japan also means facing natural disasters.
We need to always consider what Toyota can do and some things we ourselves can do.
I would like to move forward with these thoughts and considerations in mind.