[ Toyota's Basic Approach to Corporate Governance ]
Toyota's top management priority is to steadily increase corporate value over the long term. Further, our fundamental management philosophy is to remain a trusted corporate citizen in international society through open and fair business activities that honor the language and spirit of the law of every nation. In order to put that philosophy into practice, Toyota builds favorable relationships with all of its stakeholders, including shareholders, customers, business partners, local communities, and employees. We are convinced that providing products that fully cater to customer needs is essential to achieve stable, longterm growth. That philosophy is outlined in the "Guiding Principles at Toyota." Further, to explain those principles in more detailed terms, we prepared and issued the "Contribution towards Sustainable Development" statement in January 2005. Through such initiatives, Toyota is taking concrete measures to reinforce its corporate governance functions and to become an even more competitive global company.
Specifically, we have introduced a unique management system focused on prompt decision making for developing our global strategy and speeding up operations. Furthermore, we have a range of long-standing in-house committees and councils responsible for monitoring and discussing management and corporate activities from the viewpoints of various stakeholders to ensure heightened transparency and the fulfillment of social obligations.
Ultimately, however, a well-developed awareness of ethics among individuals is the key to successful governance systems. Without such awareness—regardless of the governance structure of a company—corporate governance cannot function effectively. Toyota has a unique corporate culture that places emphasis on problem solving and preventative measures, such as problem solving based on the actual situation on the site and highlighting problems by immediately flagging and sharing them. In other words, because Toyota's approach is to build in quality through manufacturing processes, enhancing the quality of everyday operations strengthens governance. Toyota's management team and employees conduct operations and make decisions founded on that common system of checks and balances and on high ethical standards.