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New hurdle for Japan's carmakers (3)

By John Zeng  (China Daily)

08:14, September 25, 2012

Trip to ease tension

On Saturday, the Japan-China Economy Association sent a delegation headed by Toyota Chairman Fujio Cho to visit cities including Beijing.

Delegates are scheduled to meet with Chinese government officials in a bid to ease tensions and reinforce the importance of economic ties between the two countries.

Yet even before the latest Diaoyu Islands dispute, the market share of Japanese cars was in decline.

Japanese brand car sales have been damaged by a large-scale recall from Toyota and supply shortages due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

A study by JD Power China shows that the percentage of potential new car buyers surveyed that intended to buy a Japanese car dropped from 32 percent in 2009 to 24 percent in 2012.

At the same time, the proportion of respondents who said they intend to buy a European car rose from 25 percent in 2009 to 35 percent in 2012.

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