10 out of 11 new vehicle license plate location names OK’d

Kyodo

The transport ministry announced Friday that 10 locations have been granted their requests to appear on vehicle license plates.

The top line on license plates bears the name of the location of the issuing office. The local governments asked to get their name on the plates so they can promote their area.

The successful applicants were Morioka and Hiraizumi in Iwate Prefecture; Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture; Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture; Kawaguchi and Koshigaya in Saitama Prefecture, Setagaya and Suginami wards in Tokyo, Kasugai, Aichi Prefecture; and Amami, Kagoshima Prefecture.

Hiraizumi is a World Heritage site famous for its temples, gardens and archaeological sites.

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry declined a request to add of Asuka, Nara Prefecture, to the list because it did not clear the requirement that there must be at least 100,000 vehicles in the area.

Four neighboring cities, including Kashihara, are soliciting other local governments to join so they can meet the requirements to get Asuka on the plates. The ministry is accepting applications through October so those local governments can apply again.

The number of vehicles in Amami falls below 100,000, but it was accepted as the requirement is relaxed for remote islands.

In addition to the vehicle tally, the ministry considers the reason for the requests and whether local residents support the move.