Record fall in domestic Japanese car sales

A Toyota dealership in Japan's Miyagi prefecture that was damaged by March's earthquake and tsunami
Image caption Japan's carmakers were badly affected by the country's earthquake and tsunami

Japan's domestic sales of cars, trucks and buses fell by a record amount in April, hit by the aftermath of the country's earthquake and tsunami.

With production halted and supply chains broken, sales last month were 51% lower than a year earlier, said the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.

It said sales would continue to be subdued in the months ahead because of a continuing shortage of parts.

April's decline followed a 37% fall in vehicle sales in March.

The earthquake hit north-eastern Japan on 11 March.

The Japan Automobile Dealers Association (Jada) said domestic sales in April totalled 108,824.

The 51% fall from a year earlier was the biggest decline since records began in 1968.

The all-time record fall was 45%, which was recorded in May 1974 during the global oil price crisis.

A Jada spokesman said: "Factory lines started moving again but they are not operating fully yet.

"We are likely to continue feeling the impact [of the disaster]."