• Kyodo


A Kyoto-based taxi operator known for its low fares has said it plans to stage a free ride campaign in Nagoya to protest the government’s rejection of its application to operate in the city.

MK Co. owner Sadao Aoki revealed at a news conference Monday the plan to use 125 taxis and chartered limousines in the free service, which is earmarked to commence May 21 and to continue for about a year.

Aoki said the move aims to raise the company’s profile in Nagoya and to protest the rejection in late April by the Chubu District Transport Bureau of the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry. He said the company will apply for the free-ride service with the bureau and will also file a complaint over the rejection with Chikage Ogi, minister of land, infrastructure and transport.

MK also plans a lawsuit, claiming the bureau’s rejection of the application was illegal.

If approved, it will be the first free taxi service in Japan.

Free transport of this kind has been limited to buses provided by local authorities for routes that were terminated by private operators.

MK applied to the bureau in November to commence taxi and chartered limousine services in Nagoya.

But the bureau said it refused the application because an affiliate of MK had been administratively punished by the government over a separate matter.

The company said the punishments “were not related to MK itself so it has nothing to do with” its application to operate in the city.

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