For its part, the government is ready to "provide financial assistance and is considering deregulation," The Japan Times writes, in part because it can cost up to six times as much to build a hydrogen station as it does a gas station. JX Nippon Oil installed the first of its planned 13 stations in Ebina, Kanagawa Prefecture, last month.
Two Japanese automakers, Honda and Toyota, have long been bigger fans of hydrogen than pure electric vehicles. Honda has been leasing the FCX Clarity (pictured) for years and Toyota is working on a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for 2015. Hyundai, BMW, Daimler, Nissan and General Motors are among the automakers also publicly active in readying H2 vehicles for the near future.