It's fascinating being back in Japan, my first time in the country for at least five years.

There seems to be plenty of optimism for the future in the car industry, which considering the shock of the 2011 tsunami and the ongoing financial crisis shows the impressive resilience of the Japanese people and its automotive industry.

A presentation last night by JAMA, the equivalent of our SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders), stressed the role of the manufacturers in helping the industry recovery from the Tsunami, which stopped output from 500 key suppliers.

A 6900-strong task force was dispatched to help re-establish production, while Honda put expertise learned from its Asimo robot project into action by designing a remote arm to aid the Fukishima nuclear plant clean-up.

If chasing the title of world’s tallest building is any sign of a country’s confidence, the impressive new Tokyo Skytree tower signifies Japan’s desire to keep ahead of its ambitious Asian neighbours.

The 634m high Tokyo Skytree opened to the public last May and offers a jaw-dropping view over the vast Tokyo metropolis, home to about 35 million people.