The nation’s auto industry group will ask the government to include gasoline-powered, low-emission vehicles among the environmentally friendly cars the government plans to buy, the head of the group said Thursday.

The addition of gasoline-powered cars is necessary, said Hiroshi Okuda, chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, apparently because the automakers who are making the low-emission vehicles on the current list will not be able to fill the government’s order.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi earlier this month instructed Cabinet members to replace the central government’s fleet of some 7,000 cars with low-pollution vehicles beginning April, to be completed in principle by March 2005.

“Low-pollution vehicles” are currently defined by the government as those that run on natural gas, methanol, or electricity, and hybrid cars. But only a few automakers produce these types in large numbers, Okuda said.

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