TOKYO, Japan: As reported by the Nikkei business daily this week, Toyota Motor Corp said it will begin assembling autos at a new plant in Myanmar, after being delayed for more than 19 months following a military coup and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Japanese automaker, the plant, which is opening, even as other companies are leaving the country, assembles one to two Hilux trucks per day, using parts shipped to Myanmar in September.
“We believe this meets our initial intention to contribute to the industrial development of Myanmar and to support our employees and their families’ lives,” Toyota said in a statement.
The plant was due to open in February 2021, when the country’s military seized power from the government of former leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy.
“Toyota should certainly refrain from doing business with Myanmar military-owned conglomerates, as well as their subsidiaries,” said Teppei Kasai of Human Rights Watch, as quoted by Reuters.
According to internal research, Toyota’s business in Myanmar was not directly related to state-owned and military-affiliated companies “in all processes of the car life cycle,” Toyota said in a separate statement.
The Toyota plant is located in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, a manufacturing and logistics hub built with Japanese investment.