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Monday, 30th March 2009
In Business In Japan,

Japan may subsidise green cars

Japan may begin subsidising sales of eco-friendly vehicles, a senior government figures has suggested.

The Nikkan Jidosha newspaper reports that the earmarking of as much as 800 billion yen (£58 billion) is being considered to kick-start the country's car sales, which have plummeted over recent months.

At a press conference in Tokyo, chief cabinet secretary Takeo Kawamura commented: "While nothing has been decided yet, the government's position is to implement whatever that the ruling coalition deems possible."

Recently, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (Jama) said it expects the number of new vehicles sold in the country to fall by eight per cent in 2009-10 - the lowest level since 1977-78.

Satoshi Aoki, chairman of the Jama, said that due to uncertain employment outlooks at the weakness of the Japanese economy, "consumers are in no mood to buy a car".

He also called for the introduction of a car scrappage scheme, similar to the one implemented in Germany.

Written by Mike Cotgreave