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Published on December 19th, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Diesel technology is making a comeback in Japan

It’s been almost 13 years that the city of Tokyo has seen ‘new’ diesel cars on their road. It was the then governor of Tokyo Shintaro Ishihara, that killed Japanese interest in diesel cars by barring many of them from his city as they produced excessive black smoke. Now diesel technology is making a comeback as manufacturers adopt innovations that improve its sooty image.

Mazda Motor Corp. is betting big on cleaner diesels, creating a challenge to imports and hybrids as government incentives spur demand for fuel-efficient vehicles.

The new cars compete with SUVs from Honda Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motor Corp. and models that Audi and Volkswagen ship from Europe, where half of new cars use the engine and most automakers, including the Japanese, offer diesels. Improved filters, turbochargers and fuel injection have helped make the motors quieter and cleaner than in 1999, when Gov. Shintaro Ishihara waved a bottle of black soot at reporters as he campaigned to bar them from Tokyo streets.

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