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TOKYO SHOW TRAFFIC LOW

This year's 41st edition of the Tokyo Motor Show is a lonesome affair for the Japanese, with foreign automakers largely no-shows for the first time in decades as they cut costs amid the downturn and focus on fast-growing markets like China. Conspicuously absent from the Tokyo show are German automakers Volkswagen AG and BMW AG as well as U.S. manufacturers General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. All attended the previous Tokyo show in 2007. Even the Japanese are pinching pennies, but the array of cars on display - electric vehicles, plug-ins, futuristic hybrid sports cars and scaled-down city transport - were all designed to drive home the message that the Japanese are determined to take a decisive lead in green auto technology. In all, the show, open to the public starting Saturday, will feature 39 world premieres and 21 Japan premieres.

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