TOKYO – The 2015 Tokyo auto show will be a mere shadow of shows of a quarter-century past, when the Japanese economy was moving at warp speed yet so out of sync with the rest of the world that the palace grounds in central Tokyo were assessed at greater value than the state of California.

Then “pop!” went the bubble and domestic-vehicle demand began a steady slide, falling 20% from pre-bubble averages (and yet to recover), which coincided with the diminished status of owning a car – not a problem unique to Japan but hitting harder here because of an aging and declining population.

Ironically, the Japanese auto industry has never been stronger. In the most recent fiscal year, half of OEMs (two-thirds counting truck makers), reported record earnings. All can operate profitably at current exchange rates of $1:¥90, even $1:¥80. Before the bubble, analysts warned automakers would have difficulty surviving at $1:¥200 levels. Today’s rate is $1:¥120.

Besides operating more efficiently, this reversal of fortune also is the result of boosting production overseas. Since 1990, the nation’s automakers have added more than 15 million units of capacity outside Japan while tripling their share of overseas production to 60%. That means fewer than half of Japanese-brand vehicles are produced in Japan.

With the industry’s increased focus abroad, the Tokyo show has become less significant as it competes with Frankfurt, Geneva, Detroit and Los Angeles, as well as Shanghai, New Delhi and more than two dozen other major cities around the world.

Still, as the home market for Toyota, Nissan and Honda, it affords them a chance to bedazzle with their latest environmental, telematic and safety technologies.

Plans call for 48 world premieres, including 42 cars, at the show that opens to the media Oct. 28 and to the public Oct. 30. It runs through Nov. 8.