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The economy ministry plans to start testing unmanned ground vehicles on public roads by the end of March next year through cooperation with private-sector companies, hoping to put them into practical use soon.

The ministry agreed Monday to establish a public-private council on UGVs. Members include e-commerce firm Rakuten Inc., Yamato Transport Co., Japan Post Co. and transport company Seino Holdings Co., as well as the National Police Agency, the transport ministry and local governments.

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