The ice bucket challenge has gone viral this summer with everyone from your average Joe to celebrities and business moguls such as Oprah, Charlie Sheen, and Bill Gates getting on board. Now it’s even spread across the pond to Japan, and started circulating among the business bigwigs over here. Yesterday Toyota President Akio Toyoda took on the challenge with a brave face, while also keeping the charitable spirit alive.

The ice bucket challenge involves, as the name suggests, participants being filmed having a bucket of ice water poured over their heads. They then nominate up to four more people to take on the challenge, and those people have 24 hours to do it or else they can forfeit with a charitable donation to the ALS Association of America. ALS, also referred to as motor neuron disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that eventually leads to death, and effects around one to two in everyone 100,000 people.

Unfortunately there has been some criticism that the charitable roots of the challenge are getting lost, with many celebs not even bothering to mention ALS or charitable donations in their videos. However, there’s no doubt that it has raised the profile of ALS, and ALSA has reported receiving more than double last year’s contributions in the space of just one month.

Akio Toyoda, current president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, was nominated by Yasushi Akimoto, creator and producer of AKB48. In the spirit of the challenge, he prefaces the video with a speech about ALS, and mentions  a personal motivation for participating, revealing that he actually lost a close friend and colleague to the disease.

Then comes the moment of icy truth. Check out the video below to see how badass President Toyoda is – the guy doesn’t even flinch!




He then nominates the following people to take on the challenge themselves:

  • Nissan Vice Chairman Toshiyuki Shiga
  • Toyota Dealer Association Chairman Kanetaka Hisatsune
  • Sparx Group President Shuhei Abe

We’re looking forward to seeing their videos too!

Below is the video of Yasushi Akimoto, Toyoda’s challenger, as well as a bonus splash for ABK48 member Mayu Watanabe towards the end.


Check out for more information on the disease and how you can help.

Source: Toyota Global Newsroom YouTube, AKB48 YouTube