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Japan plans average mileage rules; joining U.S., Europe

Tokyo (Reuters) - Japan is looking to join the United States and Europe in adopting standards that set fuel economy targets averaged across a car maker's entire fleet, according to a government...

Tokyo (Reuters) - Japan is looking to join the United States and Europe in adopting standards that set fuel economy targets averaged across a car maker's entire fleet, according to a government proposal announced on Friday.

The draft guideline calls for an improvement of 24.1 percent in the average mileage of passenger cars in Japan to 20.3 km/liter in 2020, against 16.3 km/l measured in 2009, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.

By adopting the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) methodology, automakers would be awarded for mounting fuel-saving technology such as hybrid systems on a large volume of cars, and not be penalized for failing to meet standards in other categories, divided into 15 weight classes. That would in turn help car makers concentrate their R&D resources rather than spreading them thin, a ministry official said.

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