In contrast to the three major metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, urban transport in Japanese regional cities has been on the decline. In addition to the rise in automobile usage, the population of city centres is decreasing and that of suburbs is increasing. With these problems in mind, we examine the transport situation in Japanese regional cities, and propose a desirable urban transport policy for these cities. By using census micro-statistics, we provide a summary of the transport situation in regional cities, and compare these situations to the major metropolitan areas in the United States. We then reveal the lack of policy measures required to tackle these problems, and discuss some prospects for future urban transport policy in Japanese regional cities.