The first International Meeting on Environmentally Friendly Vehicles opened Thursday in Tokyo as part of global efforts to develop greener vehicles and fight air pollution and global warming.

Participants gathering for the two-day conference include representatives from the United States, China and the European Union as well as three international organizations.

Major topics include how to harmonize regulations on emissions and fuel efficiency, proceed with technological development for common use, give users and automakers incentives through taxes and subsidies, and provide support for developing countries.

Promising EFV candidates include fuel-cell vehicles, next-generation hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles and super-clean diesel vehicles.

Japan is hoping participants will be able to come up with concrete numerical targets on fuel efficiency and emission cuts for such vehicles. A senior government official, however, said reaching a consensus may be difficult as opinions vary among representatives.

Participants include Japan, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Singapore and the Asian Development Bank.

Vice transport minister Gotaro Yoshimura said in an opening address that the meeting provides a good opportunity for comprehensive discussions at a time when the world faces serious climate change and air pollution problems. The meeting was initially proposed at a gathering of transport ministers a year ago.

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