Kazuaki Nagata:

Owning a car in Japan can be a hassle if you live in a city because it often comes with the extra cost of renting a parking space.
 That partly explains the rising popularity of car sharing. Many people have come to see it as not only cheaper but also more practical than owning an automobile. Here are some questions and answers about car sharing in this country:
 Is car sharing on the rise?
 The number of people registering for car sharing services is increasing. The total was 465,280 in January, compared with 6,396 in the same month in 2009.
 Also, the number of vehicles used for car sharing has jumped to 12,373 from 563 in the same period, according to the Foundation for Promoting Personal Mobility and Ecological Transportation, known more commonly as Eco-Mo Foundation, a Tokyo-based group that promotes car sharing.
 The figures have gone up in recent years with the entry of several private companies into the market.