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Japan paves way for gas stations to charge up electric cars

Allowing convenience stores also expected to help struggling operators

Japanese law currently requires electric vehicle charging stations to be 10 meters away from gas pumps.

TOKYO -- The Japanese government will relax restrictions that hamper many gas stations from adding electric vehicle charging terminals, aiming to revitalize the distribution network and promote the spread of cars running on alternate fuels.

Japan's fire safety law strictly regulates where fueling stations can install plug-in points on their premises. Currently, charging and refueling stations for electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles must be about 10 meters away from a gas pump. For small stations, those rules severely limit how many of these vehicles they can accommodate.

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