The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) has cancelled the 2021 Tokyo motor show due to the local resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement came as the Japanese government declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and three western prefectures for more than two weeks from last Sunday in an attempt to halt a surge in new coronavirus cases.

This was the first time the biennial motor show, scheduled to take place next October, had been cancelled since it was first held in 1954. In 2019 the show attracted more 1.3m visitors.

Akio Toyoda, chairman of JAMA and president of Toyota Motor Corporation, said in a statement: “We decided to cancel the auto show as it seems difficult to offer main programmes in a safe environment.”

Toyoda added: “The association had considered the possibility of holding the motor show online but it wanted the event to be held physically.”

Just last week, Auto Shanghai took place in China with global automakers showcasing their latest products and technology, including a wide range of new electric vehicle models.

See also: Tokyo is off and motor shows remain under threat