Regions far away from the Tokyo metropolitan area and other urban districts will likely be hit particularly hard by Japan's so-called 2024 problem, or possible logistics service disruptions reflecting a truck driver shortage due to new overtime regulations starting in April.

"Our agricultural, forestry and fisheries products will lose competitiveness because of rising transport costs," Aomori Gov. Soichiro Miyashita said in a speech in the city of Aomori, the capital of the northeastern prefecture, on March 22, expressing a sense of impending crisis over the problem.