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Mazda Discourages Employees From Driving

Associated Press

TOKYO - Japanese automaker Mazda Motor Corp. is recommending its employees walk to the office, rather than commute by car, as part of an effort to improve their health and protect the environment, a company spokesman said Friday.

Those meeting a set of requirements by going to the office on foot are eligible to receive 1,500 yen ($12) a month, Mazda spokesman Ken Haruki said.

Aimed at improving employees' health and to promote environment protection, Mazda introduced its "Eco-walk commutation allowance" on Thursday, Hakuki said.

Mazda, Japan's fourth-largest automaker based in Hiroshima, is the first Japanese car company to encourage its employees to walk and offer a monetary incentive, he said.

All of the company's 20,000 workers at domestic plants are eligible. The company has no plans to extend the program to those working outside Japan, Hakuki said.

Haruki said the allowance will be given to any Mazda employees who live more than two kilometers (1.24 miles) from the office and walk more than four kilometers (2.48 miles) in round trips at least 15 days a month.

Employees can get off a train or bus on their way to the office and take a walk over the distance to meet the requirements, Haruki said.

Yamaha Motor Co., a major Japanese motorcycle maker, introduced a similar eco-walk commutation system for its employees a year ago.
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