Ryota Kawamata hadn't driven for more than a decade, but as Japan's COVID-19 crisis worsened in May, his employer near Tokyo rented him a car so he wouldn't have to use public transport.

The 32-year old engineer, a self-described "poor driver," now wants to buy his own car.

"There are places where I can't go without a car," said Kawamata, who recently paid ¥30,000 ($280) for a five-hour refresher course to hone his driving skills.