* Demotorisation has been happening in Japan since 1990.
* According to the BBC, Japanese new car sales for May 2008 were only about half what they were in May 1990.
* In 1990 7.8 million new cars were purchased in Japan. In 2007, only 5.4 million were bought. That’s a decline of 33%.
* In 2007 alone, new car sales in Japan fell by 6.7%.
* The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association did a market study two years ago to find the reasons for the slump. They were: a widening wealth gap, falling birth rate, increasing urbanisation (Japan’s excellent urban public transport means cars are really only essential in the countryside), and something cultural: a general lack of interest in cars.