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The Environment Ministry will start waiving full-day parking charges for electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles at 14 parking lots at 10 national parks in Japan.

The measure, intended for promoting the spread of EVs and FCVs that do not emit greenhouse gases as part of efforts to tackle global warming, will begin in stages over a period between Thursday and May 1.

Parking lots at national parks usually charge around ¥500 for passenger cars for full-day parking.

“We will promote the development of sustainable tourist resorts through national parks and other Environment Ministry-related facilities,” Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi said. “We hope people can feel what it is like to lead carbon-free lifestyles.”

The 10 national parks to be part of the initiative include the Akan Mashu National Park in Hokkaido, the Nikko National Park in the Tochigi Prefecture and the Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park, which straddles the prefectures of Kagoshima and Miyazaki.

Parking lot staff members will use a list of EV and FCV models prepared by the ministry to determine which vehicles can park for free. The ministry will inform drivers of the measure through signboards at parking lot entrances.

In addition, the ministry will start installing charging stations for EVs at parking lots of national parks from fiscal 2021, which will begin on Thursday, so that people can visit parks located far from urban areas without worrying about their cars running out of power.

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