The transport ministry on July 30 encouraged railway operators to reduce their power use by 20 percent by 2030 relative to 2010 levels.
The ministry hopes the companies will implement their own energy-saving technologies, some of which are already in development, to meet the goal.
Different railway operators have been developing energy-saving train cars independently.
Tokyu Corp. is working on technology that stores electric power generated during the application of brakes.
East Japan Railway Co. (JR East), the Railway Technical Research Institute and other bodies, meanwhile, are developing train cars that operate on storage batteries.
But these efforts are being pursued with differing degrees of enthusiasm.
The transport ministry set a numerical target to encourage railway operators to implement the technologies they are developing more quickly.
Sources said the ministry will also consider financial assistance from the government, because some railway operators have voiced concerns about implementation costs.
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