Japan is getting very serious about “green” cars on the road. The country’s Environment Ministry has required that all cars must have at least 10 percent ethanol in their fuel tanks by 2030. For new cars, the target date drops to 2010.
Japan is particularly concerned with global warming, as can be seen by its promoting of the famous Kyoto Protocol. This automobile pronouncement is the latest effort in that direction.
Such a solution might be difficult given that gasoline is by far less expensive to produce than ethanol, which requires corn or sugar or some other Nature-based additive. Then there is the tradition of full-on gasoline, which is as strong in Japan as it is in the U.S. America, of course, wants nothing to do with the Kyoto global warming agreement—at least the top government brass don’t. And such a proposal would be probably greeted with scorn or indifference by the largest poluting nation in the world.
Japan, on the other hand, prefers to focus on the environment, hence this announcement. It is probably also the case that Japan is looking to reduce its dependence on oil, of which it has to import 100 percent.