Toyota president Akio Toyoda, under fire for his handling of massive safety recalls, was expected to leave Japan Saturday for the United States where he faces a grilling in front of a hostile Congress. The head of the embattled Japanese automaker has bowed to calls to appear in front of US lawmakers after an initial reluctance, a flip flop that has drawn further criticism and added to impressions of a public relations disaster.
Japan is now looking to Toyota president Akio Toyoda’s appearance before U.S. lawmakers next week to help burnish an image marred by a flood of recalls — and to prevent grievances over the issue from fanning broader political tensions.
“I hope Toyota will soon regain the trust of their customers around the world,” Japan’s Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada told reporters Friday.
“Although this is a matter of one individual company, we wish to back them up as much as we can as it could become a national issue,” Okada said.
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