MAKUHARI, Chiba Pref. — The 38th Tokyo Motor Show opened to the media Tuesday at the Makuhari Messe convention center here, showcasing low-emission commercial vehicles and so-called welfare vehicles.

The show, organized by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, is the third and last of its kind solely dedicated to commercial vehicles. In 1999, the show was divided into two categories, one featuring cars and motorcycles and the other featuring commercial vehicles.

Although the show has featured the two categories alternately, they will be merged at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show in 2007, which will be held biennially thereafter.

This year, 111 firms are taking part, from Japan, the U.S., Austria and France and other countries, featuring some 220 vehicles and auto products.

A major attraction is environmentally friendly technologies, including advanced diesel engines and hybrid systems.

Truck makers are developing diesel engines that meet Japan’s new long-term diesel emissions regulation to reduce fuel exhausts, including nitrogen oxide and particulate matter. The regulation, deemed the most stringent in the world, comes into effect next October.

Nissan Diesel Motor Co. is showing three heavy-duty concept large vehicles equipped with the urea SCR system, a new technology that uses urea water to convert nitrogen oxide into nontoxic substances via a catalytic reaction.

The system involves an ultra-high-pressure fuel injection system that reduces particulate matter while improving fuel efficiency. A truck, one of the three concept vehicles, will soon hit the market. Prominent among the hybrid technology on display is a next-generation bus by Hino Motors Ltd. equipped with a system that enables the vehicle to get an electrical recharge at every bus stop.

In light of public sentiment, scandal-hit Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp. voluntarily reduced the number of products on display to three from the 10 to 13 it usually exhibits. The company is under fire for concealing years of auto defects, including those that led to fatalities.

JAMA hopes to draw 235,000 visitors to the exhibition, which will run from Wednesday through Sunday.

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