Details of Japan’s new highway tariff have been unveiled by the transport ministry with trial caps based on vehicle size set at JPY2,000 (US$21.40).

According to Japanese media, the new tariff will nonetheless include discounts for fuel-efficient cars, with a ceiling of JPY1,000 to be introduced in July.

Trucks and buses will be subject to a cap of JPY5,000 or JPY10,000, depending on their size.

The reports also indicate the new tariff will eliminate many of the existing discounts, such as a JPY1,000 cap on cars equipped with electronic toll charge (ETC) devices which are often factory-fitted in Japan.

It appears discounts for frequent users such as lorry operators will stay, as well as cheaper prices for drivers during night and commuter hours, although these will be limited.

Those not possessing ETC devices will also fall under the new tariff, which could be reviewed after fiscal 2011.