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Motegi from LDP calls for the full opening of the taxi transport market

Toshimitsu Motegi, secretary general of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, called on Sunday for fully opening the taxi ride market, including allowing information technology companies to operate taxi services.

In a speech in the southwestern city of Nagasaki, Motegi also expressed a desire to expand the so-called sharing economy, in which individuals and companies borrow and lend goods and skills via the internet.

The sharing economy is ‘growing as a business’, Motegi emphasizes. “The best policy to promote innovation is not to strictly regulate new work styles and businesses,” he said.

“It is not correct to think that (fully allowing taxi services) is impossible in Japan,” Motegi noted. Ride-hailing services involve regular drivers who use their personal cars to provide paid rides.

From April, ride-hailing services will be allowed in some parts of the country, but operators of such services are now limited to taxi companies.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida considered unveiling a plan in June to legislate to fully allow taxi services, but he has decided to postpone due to divided opinions within the LDP and continued resistance from the Transport Ministry and Komeito, the coalition partner of the LDP. .

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