The Japanese trade and transport ministries are in the process of drafting new
standards on car-makers. The new rules are expected to be released before the end of 2006 and are expected to be the toughest in the world. The Japanese market is the second largest in the world after the United States and the rules could have a wide-spread effect on vehicles sold elsewhere. All car-makers who sell vehicles in Japan would be subject to the new rules, regardless are where the vehicles are built. The new rules are expected to require a 20 percent efficiency improvement by 2015 compared to 2004 levels. Car makers who don't meet the new requirements would be fined.
[Source: Bloomberg via