Japan offers satellite services for PH mobility industry

Published August 14, 2022, 9:20 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Japanese government has offered to the Philippines its satellite services “Himawari” for digital infrastructure needs in the development of the mobility industry, such as the promotion of electric vehicles and self-driving cars in the country

In a speech at the launch of the Toyota Mobility Solutions, Japan Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa mentioned of his initial discussions with some Secretaries of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration and political leaders for potential cooperation on digital infrastructure for the country’s mobility industry.

According to the ambassador, their discussion with government officials centered on the possibility of utilizing the High Precision Positioning Service by Japanese satellites, weather data from the meteorological satellite “Himawari”, and the High Altitude Platform Station being developed by a Japanese private company.

“I believe that such cooperation between the public and private sectors in the basic infrastructure for digital transformation will serve as a catalyst for the transition to a Mobility Industry, such as promotion of electric vehicles and self-driving cars in the Philippines,” said Ambassador Koshikawa.

Based on its website, Himawari 8 is a Japanese weather satellite operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). The spacecraft was constructed by Mitsubishi Electric.

JMA is responsible for contributing to the improvement of public welfare. Areas of focus include natural disaster prevention and mitigation, transportation safety, industrial prosperity, monitoring of climate change and international cooperation activities.

In addition to these responsibilities, the Meteorological Satellite Center (MSC) is tasked with observing meteorological and related phenomena from space using meteorological satellites, to processing observational data collected, and to disseminating this information and products derived from it.

As the Philippines has significantly relaxed its foreign investment restrictions, the ambassador expressed optimism about further increase in investments and trade from Japan, along with the implementation of Executive Order No. 182, providing for a Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program.

For instance, he noted that the Philippines is one of the countries with the largest market of Toyota in ASEAN. Toyota has sold about two million vehicles since 1988. In terms of employment, TMP directly supports the livelihood of approximately 3,700 people through the production of automobiles in the Philippines.

The ambassador further said that Toyota’s move towards “creating the mobility service for better society, for better business, for better life and for better driving.”

“Toyota advocates that it undergoes a once-in-a-century transformation to become a total mobility solutions provider. I firmly believe that such transformation from an automotive industry to a mobility industry that Toyota is aiming to achieve will prove to be a real game changer to the manufacturing and service sector nationwide,” he said.

He noted that the launch of Toyota’s mobility solutions unit showed a great deal of the future-oriented bilateral cooperation between Japan and the Philippines in many fields, may it be in diplomacy, economy, technology, way of life and culture, among others.

Today, Japan is the top investor, top Official Development Assistance (ODA) partner, and one of the top traders of the Philippines. He added that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has promised President Marcos to further deepen cooperation and relationship with the Philippines in a wide range of areas. .

He further noted of the latest public opinion poll, which revealed that almost 80 percent of Filipinos trust Japan. “Considering the bitter history of war nearly 80 years ago, I am deeply grateful that the supermajority of Filipinos now trusts Japan,” he said.