• Kyodo

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City elders in the Gunma Prefecture town of Ota who want to put their town on the map a little more forcefully have come up with a plan to rename it after a car.

City officials said Saturday that part of Ota, where the main Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. plant is located, may become Subaru. Fuji Heavy, of course, produces Subaru vehicles.

The city of Ota will shortly submit to the municipal assembly a proposal to change the name of the 54.2-hectare tract of land where the plant is located, currently known as Higashi-Honcho, to Subarucho

If approved, the name will be formally changed Oct. 1, the officials said. The city only wants to adopt the Subaru name for part of its township and the remaining areas of the town will retain the current name, they said.

Fuji Heavy submitted a petition to the city in March for the name change. If the new name is approved, the city expects to spend some 4.5 million yen on altering signs and for related expenses.

Other places that have adopted popular vehicle names include the town of Toyota in the city of Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, and the town of Daihatsu in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture.

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