According to Nikkei, Transport Minister Chikage Ogi has said that the government is considering renting car-mounted devices for an electronic toll collection (ETC) system in a bid to increase the use of the system.

The ETC system enables drivers with special devices installed in their cars to pay expressway tolls without stopping at toll booths. However, the devices cost some 30,000 yen – and take-up has been slow since the ETC system went operational in Japan in March 2001. The Nikkei report says that only 2.6% of all vehicles use the ETC system.

Nikkei reports that the Minister said: “It would be ideal if all new vehicles came with ETC devices.” She then added that “if consumers want a device rental system, the ministry will study the issue.”