February 17, 2011 / 9:34 AM / in 9 years

FACTBOX-Japan to cap weekday highway tolls at $24

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 By Osamu Tsukimori
 TOKYO, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Japan will limit national highway
tolls for passenger cars to 2,000 yen ($24) on weekdays from
April while keeping a 1,000 yen cap for weekends, a move that
could encourage drivers to make longer trips on weekdays.
 The decision represents a compromise by the government, which
said last April it wanted to cap tolls at 2,000 yen seven days a
 Japan implemented the current highway toll discount system in
March 2009, capping the rate at 1,000 yen for passenger cars
during weekends and national holidays irrespective of distance
covered, a move aimed at stoking the flagging economy.
 Following is a list of important points in the change from
April announced by the trade ministry this week:
 -- The toll will be capped on weekdays for the first time.
Currently, the 1,000 yen cap only applies at weekends and on
national holidays for mini-vehicles and passenger cars equipped
with electronic toll collection (ETC) systems.
 -- The new caps, to take effect for about three years from
April, will apply to all mini-cars and passenger cars including
those without ETC.
 -- A 1,000 yen cap will apply to mini-vehicles seven days a
week, while passenger cars will pay a maximum 1,000 yen at
weekends and national holidays, and up to 2,000 yen on weekdays.
 Eco-friendly cars such as hybrids and electric vehicles
equipped with ETC will have caps of 1,000 yen on weekdays from
this summer.
 -- The caps do not apply to trucks and buses on weekdays,
though tolls are at present halved for all vehicles between
midnight and 4 a.m. seven days a week, and that discount will
remain in place.
 -- The 2,000 yen cap for passenger cars on weekdays
represents a bargain compared to earlier levies for those driving
more than 70 km (44 miles). But for most highway users, who drive
less than 50 km (31 miles), the tolls already amount to less that
the new cap.
 ($1=83.58 Yen)
 (Editing by Michael Watson)

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