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Japan should shift its now-expansionary national transport policy and focus instead on environmental protection, information technology use and safety, a government advisory panel said Thursday.

In a report on transport policy in the early 21st century, the Council for Transport Policy recommended that the Transport Ministry take steps to make transport systems more information-oriented and introduce electronic boarding passes and tickets as well as electronic vehicle identification numbers.

For environmental protection, the council proposed “a shift away from an automobile-dependent society” by promoting public urban transport systems such as streetcars and buses and regulating the entry of privately owned cars into urban areas.

It also called for a carbon tax to cut down on the environmental damage caused by automobiles.

On international aviation, the council said, without elaborating, that it is an urgent task for the government to expand the air transport capacity in the Tokyo metropolitan area in view of the current heavy dependence on Narita airport.

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