A spokesman for the Japanese car company said on Friday that those meeting a set of requirements by going to the office on foot, rather than by car, are eligible to receive US$12 a month.

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

Mazda, based in Hiroshima, is the fourth-largest car manufacturer in Japan and the first to offer incentives to its 20,000 employees in the country not to drive, he said.

The company has no plans to apply the incentive for those working outside Japan, Hakuki said.

He said allowance would be given to any Mazda employee who lives more than two kilometres from the office and walks more than four kilometres 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, the Japanese motorcycle maker, introduced a similar eco-walk commutation system for its employees a year ago.