Toyota Motor Corp.'s Hiroshi Okuda, 67, left his post as president last June to become the chairman of Japan's No. 1 auto maker. Since then, Okuda has plotted strategy for the Japanese carmaker, while chairing Japan's employers' association, Nikkeiren. In May, he will become the head of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers' Assn. as well. Recently, he talked with Tokyo correspondent Emily Thornton about the future for Toyota. Here are edited excerpts from their conversation: