The Toyota minicar is in high demand in Japan, where it is popular for short commutes. Minicars are taxed lower in Japan than other cars.
Electric cars have been getting more attention as power-saving becomes a the new buzzword in Japan.
Toyota Motor Corp said it would take a $50 million stake in U.S. electric car maker Tesla Motors, a move that gives the Japanese automaker a chance to repair its dented public image and vaults the California start-up on to the world stage.
Program draws on $705 million set aside in an economic stimulus package earlier this year but leaves many financing details up to the next government.
Sony said Tuesday it will let 16,000 employees go – half of them from its temporary staff.