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Monday, 2nd March 2009
In Japan Travel News,

New road toll scheme to begin this month

This month will see record reductions in toll fees on Japan's highways as the government launches a new system for taxing motorists.

Under the new scheme, there will be 17 different tariffs based on times zones and whether or not a location is an urban or rural area.

Vehicles equppied with an Electronic Toll Collection System will not be charged as much as those without the devices.

The system has been criticised by some as being too complex, reports the Asahi Shimbun.

Jujiro Yagi, chairman of the East Nippon Expressway, commented: "I will always have to keep the manual (on toll reduction) handy because the new reduction programe is too complicated."

Meanwhile, Ryutaro Kono, chief economist at the Japanese arm of BNP Paribas Solutions, said the toll reductions could have a negative impact on the environment as more people use their cars instead of public transport.

Electronic toll collection systems are also in operation in countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.

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