Japan car sales jump as industry recovers from tsunami
Car sales in Japan jumped by more than a quarter last year as the industry recovered from 2011's devastating earthquake and tsunami, figures show.
Sales of cars, trucks and buses rose by 26.1% to 3,390,274 in 2012, despite a fall in December, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said.
State subsidies also helped to boost sales of environmentally-friendly cars.
Separately, three of Japan's biggest carmakers reported a fall in sales in China last year.
As a result of the tsunami in March 2011, a number of major carmakers were forced to suspend production.
However, they bounced back strongly last year, with domestic car sales up 26.3% to 3,014,651, and truck sales up 24.4%.
The small dip in sales in December was largely down to the end of government subsidies for eco-friendly cars, the association said.
Japan's carmakers fared less well in China in 2012.
Toyota said sales fell by almost 5% to 840,500, while Nissan saw a 5.3% drop to 1,181,500. Honda's sales slipped 3.1% to 598,576.
The carmakers said political tensions over a territorial dispute between Tokyo and Beijing had led to some consumers boycotting their products.
Nissan said: "The Sino-Japanese territorial disputes that began in September have seriously affected Nissan's sales and marketing activities in China."