• Kyodo News

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The subsidy program to encourage purchases of environmentally friendly vehicles will end in a day or two, because the ¥580 billion in funds allocated for the program have almost run out, the industry ministry said Wednesday.

Although the program runs through the end of September, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is considering whether to stop accepting applications for the subsidy.

Parliamentary Secretary for Economy, Trade and Industry Yosuke Kondo told a Diet committee Wednesday morning that the program will end “around today or tomorrow because there has been about ¥10 billion worth of applications per day from this week.”

As of Monday, only about ¥10.2 billion in funds remained. The government continued to accept applications Wednesday, but that may not mean all the applicants are entitled to the subsidy.

The program, under which purchasers of gas-electric hybrids and other green cars receive up to ¥250,000, was introduced in June 2009. It was originally to end last March, but the expiration was extended through Sept. 30.

Tax-reduction measures for eco-friendly cars are expected to continue until spring 2012.

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