What do Trains, Planes, and Automobiles Bring Us for New Life?
• A business luncheon, “Trains, Planes and Automobiles:
Current and Future Trends in the Transportation Industry in Japan and
the U.S.”, was held on March 23 at the Union League Club of Chicago. The
event was part of the NAJAS/KKC Business Speaker Series sponsored by the
National Association of Japan-America Societies and the Keizai Koho Center.
• In his greeting remarks, Consul General of Japan Toshiyuki
Iwado said that Japanese business executives often mentioned that a key
factor in their direct investment decision was the transportation network.
He also pointed out the importance of the transportation network as a
business lifeline, which was closely linked with cities in Japan and the
U.S. through US-Japan business activities.
• View from the Flight Deck: Trends in Air Transportation
• Grant Crampton of Boeing Company spoke about three topics: Boeing and Japan, Boeing’s current market outlook, and future technology.
• Boeing opened its office in 1953 in Japan and currently
has 230 employees in 40 different sites across Japan. Japan has purchased
more than 80 % of commercial airplanes from Boeing. Japan’s Ministry of
Defense also has had a business partnership with Boeing since 1950s.
• Airplane Market Outlook for the Next 20 Years
• The total number of commercial airplanes in the world
is expected to double over the next 20 years. According to Boeing’s current
market outlook (2015-2034), 38,050 new airplanes will be delivered, and
their total value is $5.6 trillion. The current number of airplanes is
21,600, which will increase to 43,560 by 2034.
• Looking ahead to expanding the future market, many considerations should be taken into account such as worldwide commerce, emerging technologies, and business-model innovation. Crampton noted that quality of service, including new nonstop city pairs and greater frequencies, was especially important.
• Air Traffic Technology
• The Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen program
has invested billions of dollars into modernizing air traffic control
systems, which brings better and safer air travel. Details of NextGen
are available at https://www.faa.gov/nextgen.
• The Infrastructure of Life
• Hiroyuki Idei and David Yamada of Nippon Sharyo U.S.A., Inc. spoke about “The Infrastructure of Life.” It was the perspective of building a society that was integrated with public transportation.
• Nippon Sharyo, a railcar maker, was founded in 1896
in Nagoya, Japan. The company is well known for building railcars for
Shinkansen bullet train since 1962 and celebrated the completion of the
3,000th Shinkansen railcar in 2010.
• Since President Obama signed the American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the passenger rail industry has seen its
growth increase. It’s a great opportunity to build a society with public
• Tokyo and Osaka are connected by Tokaido Shinkansen,
one of the most successful lines. It covers 343 miles in two hours and
22 minutes, so a business person can attend a meeting in Osaka and return
to Tokyo in the evening.
• To make successful integration of life and transportation,
• Toyota’s Operation and Energy Diversification
• Koki Konishi of Toyota Motor Corp. spoke about Toyota’s
operation, activities, and energy diversification.
• Today, Toyota’s plants in North America produce about
70 % of the Toyota vehicles sold in the U.S. More than 90 % of the parts
and materials in U.S.-made Camrys and Avalons are purchased from local
suppliers. An average of 75 % of parts and materials are locally purchased
for Toyota’s other vehicles.
• “To better serve customers, it’s important to keep
listening to their voices to provide innovative solutions,” Konishi emphasized.
• FCV “Mirai”: Toward a Hydrogen Society
• Energy diversification is necessary to overcome issues
related to fossil fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, air pollution, and
so forth. Toyota has taken the first step toward the hydrogen society
although the company believes that oil using powertrains continue to play
a key role in the personal vehicles.
• Konishi said that the automobile manufacturers were responsible for fuel tank to wheel emissions. Hydrogen has no impact on CO2 emissions. It is also made from various primary energy resources and can be stored and transported in various ways.
• Eco-friendly vehicles like Mirai can contribute to
environmental protection when they are widely used. For this reason, Toyota
released its 5,680 of the FCV related patent licenses free to the public.
From right to left: Grant Crampton, Chief of Staff of IT Infrastructure in the Boeing Company; Hiroyuki Idei, Executive Vice President of Nippon Sharyo U.S.A., Inc.; David Yamada, Manager Engineering and Marketing Support of Nippon Sharyo U.S.A., Inc.; and Koki Konishi, Managing Officer and Chief Officer of Technical Administration Group of Toyota Motor Corporation.