Tokyo Motor Show cancelled for the first time since its inception. Here is why


Japan’s leading biennial auto show, the Tokyo Motor Show, scheduled for this fall, will be canceled due to the continuing progression of coronavirus outbreaks in Japan.

Akyo Toyoda, head of the Association of Japanese Car Manufacturers (JMA), said in an online conference, explaining that at present it is not possible to think of being able to guarantee the safety of visitors in a context of progressive Covid infections increase.

Toyoda said, “We have concluded that it will be difficult to offer our main programs where many visitors get to experience attractive features of mobility in a safe environment.”

At the moment the Japanese government is preparing to declare a third state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka and other prefectures of the archipelago, in response to an increase in infections.

This is the first cancellation of the event since it made its debut back in 1954. In the last event, at the end of 2019, the event had hosted about 1.3 million people.

“The Tokyo auto show showcases motorbikes, minicars, large vehicles, passenger cars, as well as mobility vehicles of other industries,” Toyoda said. “As such, we would like to prioritise having visitors experience these vehicles in the real world, and we would rather hold the event in the real world, not virtually. So, we have decided to cancel the event,” he added.

The event will now be rebranded as Tokyo Mobility Show when the the organisers decide to hold it next. Toyoda said, “The next time, we would like to hold an improved event to be called Tokyo Mobility Show. We would like to ask for your continued support.”

The event used to be held in collaboration with many car manufacturers, showcasing the latest technology and products in the auto industry. In recent years, major European brands and other Asian carmakers had largely stopped exhibiting in Tokyo.

The popularity of the Japanese car dealership has declined due to the explosive growth of the Chinese car market, which the world’s car manufacturers are targeting.