22 February 2005

Japan’s Central Environment Council (CEC)—an advisory body of the Ministry of the Environment—has reached consensus on the next tier of diesel emission standards to become effective from 2009, reports Kyodo News.

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Under the new regulations, diesel and gasoline cars would meet the same emission standards. New emission standards would be also introduced for heavy-duty truck and bus engines. The new diesel emission regulations are to be announced by the end of the year.

The 2009 emission regulation would reduce emissions of PM and NOx by 43-65% relative to the 2005 standards (which become effective in October). In developing the proposal, the CEC chose a more relaxed approach than originally anticipated. The original CEC intention was to cut both NOx and PM by about 90%. Relaxing of the limits could be possibly attributed to balancing the needs for pollution reduction with energy efficiency and climate change factors, in view of Japan’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol.

The proposed limits are more stringent than the Euro 4 regulation for light duty vehicles and Euro V heavy-duty engine standards. The JP 2009 PM limits are comparable to the US Tier 2 and US 2007 standards for heavy-duty engines, and are expected to require the use of diesel particulate filters on new diesel engines. The JP 2009 NOx limits, on the other hand, are more relaxed than those in the USA.

Source: Kyodo