Japan automakers aim to further cut emissions
TOKYO - Japanese carmakers are stepping up efforts to reduce harmful emissions, aiming at having 80 percent of new cars set to hit the domestic market by the end of fiscal 2003 certified as eco-friendly, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said.
The move is seen likely to improve the overseas competitiveness of Japanese carmakers as nations around the world shift to increasingly tight emissions policies.
Industry observers were quoted as saying that Japanese car makers intend to substantially reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons released by their cars, aiming for eco-friendly certification issued by Japan\'s Transport Ministry.
Honda Motor Co Ltd hopes to win this certification for some models of its new Accord sedan that go on sale later this month, while Mitsubishi Motors Corp aims to do the same for its Colt subcompact, set to go on sale in December, company officials were quoted as saying.
Honda plans to produce even more low emission cars after the new Accord is launched, and win certification for most of its vehicles, except for light trucks, by the end of 2005, the Nikkei said.
Mitsubishi Motors hopes to win certification for 70 percent of its passenger cars, excluding minicars, by the April 2004 end of fiscal 2003.
Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co Ltd having already won the eco-friendly stamp for a number of their models.
Indeed, all of Toyota\'s 15 current main car models have been so designated, approval that is expected to continue, the Nikkei said.
Nissan\'s Fairlady Z sports car and March have already gained the eco-friendly seal, and about 80 percent of its cars are seen likely to be certified by the end of the current fiscal year in March 2003, the Nikkei said.
Company officials were not immediately available for comment.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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