I was looking for something interesting about Japan. I googled “Why Japanese”, and I found a video on BBC News “Why don’t Japanese drivers buy U.S. cars?”.
The video explains why very well. Here is the link to the video As the video shows, many streets and parking lots are so narrow in Japan. Cars from the U.S. are too big. It’ll be very hard to drive and park.
Also, there is another reason. Having small car called Kei Jidousha/軽自動車 (light car) is so much cheaper than having a non-Kei Jidousha. According to Light Motor Vehicle Inspection Organization, Kei Jidousha is less than 660cc engine and less than 3.4M long, 1,48M wide and 2M high. It’s a very light weight class and the cost of gas is very cheap. In addition, the vehicle tax is very cheap. People have to pay a vehicle tax every year. The vehicle tax for Kei Jidousha is only 10,800 yen, but for other cars, it cost 29,500 yen to 111,000 yen (depending on how much gas fumes are emitted from the vehicle). Also, Shaken is cheap. Shaken is an automobile inspection. Usually, all vehicles have to get the inspection every 2 years. The average cost is from 55,000 yen to 170,000 yen. It depends on which company you bring your vehicle to and what kind of vehicle you drive. If the car needs any part replaced, you have to pay the additional cost. Moreover, the insurance fees and highway fees for Kei Jidousha are cheaper than other vehicles.
If Japanese people buy U.S. cars, how much more will they have to pay to keep U.S. cars?
Of course, there are cons with owning a Kei Jidousha. Kei Jidousha has less power, so if people drive uphills, Kei Jidousha drive slowly, and Kei Jidousha will easily dent from a minor bump.
The Japanese government doesn’t charge any tax to import U.S. cars, but U.S. cars charge 2.5% of tax to import Japanese cars. Steering wheels on Japanese cars are located on the right side. Japanese law allows people to own vehicles, regardless if the steering wheel is located on the left or right side. However, this is not the case for the U.S. So Japan is at a disadvantage when it comes to exporting cars to the U.S. If the U.S. wants to sell more cars in Japan, U.S. car companies must make small kawaii cars.
(Link of the video on BBC
(Link of Light Meter Vehicle Inspection Organization https://www.keikenkyo.or.jp/information/information_000123.html)