Japan will delay the levying of new national highway tolls originally expected to come into effect in June 2010.

The move comes after uncertainty over government backing as some lawmakers believe that the new toll structure would result in higher tolls for many short-distance drivers.

In April, the government said it planned to double the national highway toll ceiling to ¥2,000 ($21.60) for a week-long pass to encourage a cut in long-distance driving, even on weekdays.

The new tolls were announced to support gasoline consumption after a study by the Institute of Energy Economics revealed that toll discounts increased gasoline demand by 1.3%.

Transport minister Seiji Maehara said 18% of the highway network in rural areas will be free from June, according to Reuters.