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JAPAN: Importers ask for tax changes

By just-auto.com editorial team | 27 October 2009

The Japan Automobile Importers Association said on Tuesday it has requested that the government revise its tax breaks to buyers of environmentally friendly cars so the policy brings no disadvantages to imported car sales.

Imported cars have suffered sluggish sales compared with domestically produced cars as most imported cars are ineligible for the government's recent tax breaks or subsidies for eco-friendly cars, it said, according to Kyodo News.

Imported cars are said to be in a disadvantaged position as the Japanese government's standard for measuring fuel consumption places more importance on lower traveling speed than that in Europe or the United States.

''It is not that imported cars' performance on the environment is inferior,'' the association said in a statement, calling on the government to adopt ''standards that are globally harmonious, including ways to measure ability of fuel consumption and emissions.''

The association also requested that the government expand the scope of its preferential treatment to clean diesel cars that are becoming the mainstay in Europe.

The association said it has submitted petitions to the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry and the Environment Ministry to review the policy.

The association also asked the government to scrap the automobile acquisition tax and the car weight tax and to simplify and reduce Japan's car-related taxes, which it sees as more complex and heavy than those in the United States and Europe, it said.