At the end of March, roughly every 2.4 households in Japan owned a minicar, the Japan Mini Vehicles Association said Monday.
The figure, which marks the highest number of minicar owners since the group began taking statistics in 1975, reflects the increasing presence of minicars across Japan. The group said it came up with the figure by using the number of households released by the public management ministry and the number of vehicle possessions released by the transport ministry.
At the end of March, according to the ministries, there were 48,015,251 households in Japan, and 20,041,396 minicars.
As a result, an average of 41.7 minicars were owned by every 100 households at the end of March, an increase of 0.9 from a year earlier, when a record 40.8 minicars per 100 households were reported, the minicar group said.
Tottori Prefecture topped the list, with every 100 households owning 89.2 minicars, followed by Shimane Prefecture with 85.3 and Nagano Prefecture with 82.7.
Minicars are popular in rural areas, where public transportation options are limited, the group said.
Tokyo came in last, with only 9.5 minicars per 100 households. Kanagawa Prefecture had 15.7 minicars per 100 households, while Osaka Prefecture had 22.9.
Minicar use is low in these areas due to the higher number of single-member households and a more efficient system of public transportation, the group said.
These were the only three areas where there were less than 25 minicars for every 100 households, the group said.
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