March 28, 2011 / 4:41 AM / 9 years ago

Japan delays road toll cap to help fund rebuilding

TOKYO, March 28 (Reuters) - Japan has indefinitely delayed a planned cap on national highway tolls, the transport ministry said on Monday, as the government moves to secure funds for rebuilding after a massive quake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan.

Japanese newspapers said the delay would save the government 120 billion yen ($1.5 billion) a year to direct towards reconstruction.

In February, Tokyo announced a new system that would limit national highway tolls to 2,000 yen for passenger cars on weekdays starting in April, while keeping a 1,000 yen cap in place for weekends. The cap was aimed in part at boosting the economy by encouraging travel. [ID:nTOE71G02S]

Japan’s toll roads are among the world’s most expensive, with trips of more than 70 km (44 miles) exceeding 2,000 yen, while the 400-km trip from Tokyo to Osaka would cost about 15,000 yen without a cap.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said it would maintain the 1,000 yen cap for weekends. ($1 = 81.325 Japanese Yen) (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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