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For you JDM lic. plate fanboys. :hehe


Go figure: Popular license plates to be decided by lottery
04/07/2005

The Asahi Shimbun


When it comes to license plates, it's all a matter of numbers. And some are so popular that the transport ministry says it's only fair to distribute them via lottery.

Applications will be accepted from May 2, with the tags issued from May 12. Lotteries will be held weekly until the numbers are all gone.

Demand for four particular numbers, including the "55" on Hideki Matsui's jersey, has soared in urban centers like Tokyo's Shinagawa Ward, according to officials of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

To ensure fairer distribution, the ministry will decide the four numbers via lotteries in five districts, officials said.

The other three sought-after tags to be issued by lottery are: "77" in Shinagawa Ward, Osaka and Kobe; "1122" in Yokohama, Nagoya and Kobe; and "1188" in Nagoya.

Nationwide, 13 popular tags, such as "1," "777," and "8888," have already been distributed by lottery.

Most are puns based on variant pronunciations. A pun of "1122" (ii-fufu) can sound like "good husband and wife," while "1188" (ii-haha or ii-papa) means "good mother" or "good father."

"The number '77' is popular because '7,' '77,' and '777' are all set aside for a lottery," said a ministry official. "I think '55' attracts attention because Hideki Matsui is doing great."

License plate applicants who don't mind which number they get must pay 1,400 yen. Those who get the number they hoped for in the lottery must fork out about 4,100 yen.

This month, the four numbers will still go to whoever applies first, if they are available. The charge will be about 4,100 yen.(IHT/Asahi: April 7,2005)
 
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