Special license plates coming soon to areas in Japan, in a bid to highlight local attractions

Kyodo

At least 40 areas across the country plan to introduce vehicle license plates featuring scenic spots or local specialties in a bid to raise their profiles as tourist destinations, government data showed Thursday.

Sendai and Kyoto are among the municipalities filing applications with the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry. The ministry aims to issue the specially designed license plates from October next year.

The ministry is hoping that the license plates will be used not only by private vehicles but also by buses and taxis to help promote regional tourism, officials said.

Applications will be accepted until the end of this month. The ministry will then receive the proposed designs from the prefectures and municipalities by year-end.

As of Wednesday, the largest number of applications had come from the Kanto region, with eight submissions for the plates.

Each of the Tohoku, Chugoku and Kyushu regions filed six applications, while all four prefectures in Shikoku did so. No applications were received from Okinawa Prefecture or Hokkaido.