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The land, infrastructure and transport ministry has decided to rewrite safety standards for freighters and passenger vessels in Tokyo Bay so they can travel at their optimum speed, officials said Saturday.

Ministry officials intend to set the new standards by the end of fiscal 2003 and use them in a comprehensive review of the traffic system in the bay.

At present, vessels 50 meters or more in length, regardless of their type, are not allowed to travel in the bay at more than 12 knots, or some 22 kph.

An increasing number of experts have criticized the uniform speed limit because it pays little attention to the performance of different ships and the effect it has on efficiency for traffic in the bay.

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