The head of the world's largest automobile company, Akio Toyoda, has taken up the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for the paralysing disease also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Wearing a racing outfit at his headquarters in the central Japanese city of Toyota, the 58-year-old president explained how he lost a colleague to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

"ALS is a terrible, paralysing disease. I lost a close friend with whom I worked long and hard with at Toyota to ALS. I fully support this cause and will do what I can to contribute," he said before someone poured a bucket of ice water over him.

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