Interview with The Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association, Inc. (JATMA)

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JATMA was established in September 1947 as an industry organization for Japan’s automobile tire manufacturers. JATMA’s main objectives are to contribute to the development of an automobile tire industry in Japan, and the development of Japan’s economy also. Eventually improvement of Japan’s national welfare will be expected through the development of economy.

To attain these objectives, JATMA conducts research on production, distribution, consumption and trade of the automobile tires which include automobile tires, off the road tires, industrial tires, tires for agricultural tractors and machines, etc. At the same time, JATMA is planning policies concerning safety and environmental preservation.

 

More concretely, JATMA’s main activities are described as follows;

  1. Survey of the demand trends of automobile tires, provision and investigation of various statistical data, and research on physical distribution.
  2. Research on various themes related to intellectual property.
  3. Promotion of public relations on safety such as proper use and appropriate maintenance of tires including air pressure control.
  4. Tire inspections on roads and highways.
  5. Enlightenment concerning safe driving on winter road.
  6. Inspections and judgments of damaged tires, consumer consultation, and cooperation with judicial branches, police, etc. when requested in investigation.
  7. Publication of JATMA Year Book, which shows standards for automobile tires.
  8. Affairs responding to each country’s safety regulation, certification and labelling system.
  9. Discussion, communication and cooperation with international organizations, foreign governments and tire-related organizations concerning harmonization of safety regulations.
  10. Operation of “Tyre Labelling System” and promotion and dissemination of fuel-efficient tires.
  11. Address to global environmental issues and promotion of global warming countermeasures.
  12. Comprehensive promotion of Reduce, Reuse and Recycling of tires or “3R” and support for recovery of illegally dumped site.
  13. Collecting and sharing information on trade issues of each country/region.
  14. Facilitation of various procedures/systems related to trade, negotiations on regulation issues with the authorities of foreign countries and cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry or “METI” and the tire industry associations of Europe, U.S.A and Asia.


IRSG:
How does JATMA contribute to the development of the rubber industry and economy of Japan?

JATMA: Automobile tire is a tradable commodity and actually sold in the global market beyond borders. At the same time tire is a regulated commodity under the control of the government in most countries whether for a use of original equipment or for replacement.

As mentioned above, JATMA consists of Japan’s automobile tire manufacturers. As the organization of automobile tire manufacturers which occupy a certain position in the world market, JATMA would like to contribute to the development of the fair and efficient world automobile tire market.

The existence of the fair and efficient market will be a key for healthy development of economy as well as industries. Around 70 to 80 % of whole rubber produced is used for automobile tires. JATMA believes that the healthy development of the automobile tire industry must be beneficial for the development of the rubber industry.

IRSG: Why is important to be a member of JATMA?

JATMA: The most important thing is to share the idea that the existence of the fair and efficient market would be a key for the healthy development of economy, and act together for realizing it. JATMA is very happy to collaborate with any organization in the world

IRSG: In your research and support to your members, how does JATMA help the tyre industry pursue “green” and sustainable growth of the rubber tyre industry?

JATMA: Sustainable issue is obviously one of the most important challenge now Japan’s automobile tire industry is facing. The industry is tackling to find a solution based on exact scientific knowledge. Through this process, JATMA is contributing to formulate a position of the industry on the issue by providing various research results. Some of JATMA’s activities are being done under collaboration with overseas organizations such as ETRMA and USTMA.

IRSG: A number of social, economic, and technological trends are poised to disrupt urban mobility. By 2030, mobility innovation could radically transform everything from power systems to the use of public space, while simultaneously introducing a new city dynamism. How this new tend will change the tyre industry worldwide and in Japan?

JATMA: The automobile industry, as the basement of the automobile tire industry, is now facing a centennial upheaval. It is a non-consecutive change of business model brought by development of Connection, Automatic, Share and Electric or so called “CASE” for vehicle and driving. It might be very difficult to forecast what happen to the automobile industry, however, the effect on the automobile industry also brings a significant impact on the automobile tire industry.

Even the impact could not be foreseeable, necessity of tire must be remained as long as the need of surface transportation be existed. Japan’s automobile tire manufacturers will keep their policy to provide tire as a valuable commodity which enables driving safe, even though requirement of tire would be diversified under the circumstances of the progress of “CASE”.

As the organization of automobile tire manufacturers which occupy a certain position in the world market, JATMA would like to support this policy.

IRSG: JATMA is an important and valuable member of IRSG, how this adds value to the position of JATMA in the rubber economy?

JATMA: There are various issues to be tackled by IRSG, such as sustainable issue, demand and supply issue, statistics, collaboration between consumers and producers and so on. JATMA and IRSG should collaborate further to deal with these already raised issues but also positively to look forward at the challenges and opportunities that will shape the rubber economy in the medium and long term. The JATMA membership as IRSG PoA member, is certainly beneficial for the rubber industry in Japan and worldwide.


Author of the Blog:

Dr. Kenji Kurata, Executive Director, The Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association, Inc. (JATMA)

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