Nov. 26, 2015
Press Conference on Toyota's Announcement of Involvement
with the Paralympic Games
Toyota Motor Corporation today held a press conference announcing its involvement with the Paralympic Games.
Click below to watch a video recording of the briefing.
The Japanese version of this page is available here.
President Toyota's Speech at the Press Conference
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are humbled and honored to announce today that Toyota will support the Paralympic Movement worldwide.
Sir Philip has noted the importance of mobility in promoting social participation for people with an impairment. Unfortunately, we hear repeatedly about the problems that limit mobility in today's society.
At Toyota, we are eager to help resolve those issues, especially when they create challenges that make life harder for people. We don't want mobility be an obstacle, but rather an opportunity for people to achieve their dreams.
Let's not forget that the word "move" can mean stimulating emotions, as well as transporting people and goods. Our highest goal at Toyota is to make mobility a source of inspiration―and a way to improve quality of life.
Sir Philip, I have also heard you say that being a Paralympian means being a fighter, and never giving up. We all face struggles in life. And all too often, we lose that drive to fight, and we stop listening to the voice that tells us not to give up. What inspires me about all athletes, in fact, is how they find the strength to keep fighting.
Back in 2011, I was in Thailand, dealing with the aftermath of the devastating floods, and I had to miss the championship game for our women's softball team in Japan. The game had to go into extra innings after being tied with no runs. My heart sank when I heard that we gave up two runs in the top of the last inning. And I began to think about how I would help our players deal with the loss. But instead, we came back with three runs in the bottom of the inning, and won the game. I'll never forget my excitement at that comeback victory.
But what excited me more than winning the championship was the way that we won. No one gave up on the field, in the dugout, or in the stands. Everyone kept playing and kept cheering in the belief that we could win―that we would win.
That was a difficult time for Toyota. We were struggling with the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake as well as the flooding in Thailand. And that game reminded us that we can never give up.
Our softball players wore the name Toyota on their chests as they competed for the championship. That day, their fighting spirit inspired us and brought us closer together as a company.
Just as our softball players taught me to never give up, Paralympians are also an incredible source of strength and inspiration for people around the world. Paralympians fight every day to defy their perceived limitations and to have access to the same opportunities as everyone else. They also fight to give hope to those that support them. The fighting spirit that Paralympians show inspires a deep, sincere respect in all of us, no matter where we're from.
I completely understand what Sir Philip means when he says that Para-sport can bring us closer to "One World, One Dream, and One People".
Through the Paralympic Games, we want to make the power of mobility and the power of sport available to all.
We at Toyota are a global team of three hundred and forty thousand people. And this is our moment to step up to the plate and make the most of our new role as a team member and supporter of the Paralympic Movement.
Together, I believe there is nothing we can't achieve.
Thank you very much.