Next time you’re in the back seat and tired of watching the meter clock up, use these ice-breakers to get the conversation flowing in your driver’s language.

• Tokyo’s 51,950 taxis account for 20.7 percent of the national total, with the categories broken down as follows: 31,314 hōjin (cars in company fleets); 16,787 kojin (owner-driver vehicles); and 3,849 haiyā, which operate under contract to companies or other organizations.

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