AFP

TOKYO - The Tokyo Motor Show kicks off Wednesday with Japanese automakers showcasing their latest electronic technology and green cars aimed at the growing low-emissions sector.

The biennial event, held from November 20 to December 1, features domestic makers of passenger cars, commercial vehicles and trucks alongside most of their European competitors.

A total of 177 exhibitors, including parts suppliers, from a dozen countries will be part of the event’s 43rd edition.

But US-based automakers, which have not attended since before the global financial crisis, are staying away again, as are South Korean producers, with the exception of Hyundai.

Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker, will be among the major firms at the show, after recovering from a series of crises in recent years including the global meltdown, Japan’s quake-tsunami disaster and the recall of millions of vehicles. The recalls badly dented Toyota’s reputation for safety and quality.

A policy blitz under Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has helped stoke optimism over the economy as the yen slumped, boosting the profits of major exporters including Toyota.

However, Japan’s number-two automaker Nissan, part-owned by France’s Renault, has chopped its earnings outlook with its bid to tap emerging markets yet to reap big rewards. A recent management shuffle also stoked questions about confidence in the leadership of long-time Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn.

The big European firms will have a close eye on boosting their presence in the world’s third-largest car market after China and the United States.