Young, Japanese, and Car-Free

Young Japanese men and women are ditching the car as a status symbol, sparking concern for car companies.

"Toyota, the nation's biggest car maker, has hosted test-drive events, taken part in fashion shows and even developed its own suburban shopping mall that houses a dealership to reach out to buyers.

About half the autos produced in Japan are sold in Japan, while the other half are exported. But the U.S. market -- where more profitable models such as light trucks tend to be popular -- is more lucrative.

Still, this nation's disenchantment with cars is cause for concern. Americans, after all, are expected to start buying cars again -- eventually -- partly because of the inadequacy of mass transit there.

It's a different story in Japan's cities where streets are clogged but trains are efficient. The domestic market also is shrinking because of a drop in population."

Thanks to Jon

Full Story: Car-free? In Japan, that's how a generation rolls

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