Tougher truck rules

 
Published: Wednesday 31 May 2000

strict rules have been recommended to control emissions from the large, noisy and highly polluting trucks in Japan.

A panel, set up by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party ( ldp ), has recommended that diesel vehicles be equipped with particulate filters and proposed that regulations be set in motion in order to cut nitrogen oxide emissions by 60 per cent from 1998 levels. But it has not set a time frame for action on particulate filters. It has merely said that a decision on how to act should be made by the summer. The initial moves to clean up Japan's trucks was started in February this year by Tokyo's governor Shintaro Ishihara. The latest move by the government panel is being viewed by many as an attempt to steal Ishihara's populist move without putting extra burden on an already depressed truck industry.

Meanwhile, of Japan's four truck manufacturers, only two have developed diesel particulate filters and that too only those of Isuzu Motors are commercially viable for trucks. They are expensive, cumbersome and can take up to two days to retrofit.

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