Road passenger and freight transport expanded
during the 1980s as private ownership of motor vehicles
increased along with the quality and extent of the
Passenger transport by automobiles and buses in 1990
billion passenger-kilometers, up 9.3 percent over the
year. The Japan Railways Group companies operates
service on the nation's expanding expressway network. In
to relatively low fares and deluxe seating, the buses are
utilized because they continue service during the night
and train service is limited. The cargo sector also grew
the 1980s, recording 274.2 billion ton-kilometers in 1990.
freight handled by motor vehicles, mainly trucks, in 1990,
6 billion tons, accounting for 90 percent of domestic
tonnage and about 50 percent of ton-kilometers.
The total length of roads in Japan reached about 1.1
kilometers in 1990
fig. 6). About 69 percent of the
paved, compared with only about 40 percent in 1978.
upgrade roads, however, have not kept up with increases in
automobile ownership. In the late 1980s, many roads had
saturation point, and traffic jams were especially serious
urban areas. There was a vigorous government plan to
situation by constructing an additional 14,000 kilometers
highways in the 1990s. The 1988 opening of the Seto-Ohashi
of the Honshu-Shikoku Bridge project provided a
link between Honshu and relatively undeveloped Shikoku.
Data as of January 1994