I know this has nothing to do with Japan, but it is so interesting I will add a note.
The Car Free Network sent a link to an article in USA today, polling American citizens on their driving habits and attitudes.
Amazingly, Americans are driving less for the first time in 26 years, and 70% responded as having actively taken steps to reduce their driving. Another interesting result - a whopping 64% said they would not use public transport no matter the price of gasoline. How screwed up is that. I wonder if it is possible to place a financial bet on public transport in the USA - train manufacturers or something perhaps? There must be a hell of a lot of room for improvement if everyone hates it that much. In Tokyo something like 91% of the population commutes by public transport (the remaining 9% who drive though still make such a racket you would think there were more of them).
And another one - more people took public transport last year in the USA than any time in the last 49 years. This makes you wonder... there must have been a pretty good public transport system 49 years ago in the US to have that many people using it ... what the hell happened to it?
This article is well worth a read. It really does seem clear that the aircraft carrier sized juggernaut that is US public sentiment appears to be turning - away from cars. And that is damn good news.