Japan Considers Non-Compliant Truck Ban In Major Cities

Posted on October 12, 2005

Citing government sources, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun in Tokyo reports that the Japanese Environment Ministry has decided to propose a ban on diesel-powered trucks not meeting emission requirements from roads in and around the cities of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. The new legislation will apparently also target smaller transport companies, including individual drivers, in addition to the midsize and larger firms already covered under current law. The current law governing NOx and PM emissions from trucks targets only transport companies with fleets of 30 or more vehicles. The ministry is expected to introduce bills on the subject to the Diet in 2006.

The new rules will also extend to trucks that are based outside the three cities, but make visits on business. The newspaper said some truck fleets operating in and around the three urban areas are sidestepping the rules by operating out of dummy business bases set up outside the cities.

To enforce the new regulations, the ministry reportedly plans to require trucks to go through emission checks at truck stops and other gathering points. The ministry also apparently intends to require trucks to undergo NOx and PM emission tests during their mandatory periodic vehicle inspections to ensure that trucks previously certified as acceptable remain that way.