Japan Introduces New Category for Microcompact Cars image

Japan’s government aims at promoting the microcompact cars by creating a new vehicle category for them.

The government expects these small cars to attract elderly customers, who are likely to use them for visiting places in their neighborhood area and nearby locations, and therefore don’t need big, powerful cars. An authorization system will be established for the microcompact vehicles, and therefore a new vehicle category besides the existing ones stipulated under the Road Transport Vehicle Law. This will be the first new category introduced since 1963.

The microcompact cars’ authorized size and capacity will be between that of light vehicles and category-1 motorized cycles. The decision to promote these small cars was taken because many bus routes have been eliminated in the last years, due to the declining population. Next month the government will announce the guidelines on the specifications of microcompact cars for car makers and local governments.

The cars that will meet the required standards will be allowed on public roads, at the beginning for tourism purposes. The taxes and tax rates for this category will be decided by the central government, who will also encourage automakers to mass-produce the cars.