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Japan's Nov. auto sales jump in China

TOKYO--Leading Japanese automakers saw their best November sales ever last month, in stark contrast to a year ago when shipments plunged amid a deep territorial row between Tokyo and Beijing.

Industry leader Toyota said its sales in China for the month reached 90,000 units, up 40.7 percent from a year ago, driven by popularity of its flagship models, including Camry, Corolla and Rav4.

Rival Nissan said sales in China nearly doubled to 131,778 vehicles, thanks to motorists' appetite for the Sylphy series and Qashqai.

Honda Motor said its Chinese sales more than doubled to 83,029 units in November.

The data serve as further evidence that the Chinese business climate for Japan Inc. has improved sharply since last year, when a long-running dispute over an East China Sea archipelago flared anew, prompting anti-Japan rallies across the world's second largest economy.

The automakers said last month's figures were the best ever for November, going beyond the levels seen before bilateral relations soured.

The car manufacturers have said they are boosting production to cope with expanding demand in the key Asian market.

Hiroto Saikawa, head of Nissan's China operations, told AFP last month that the firm was struggling to keep up with soaring sales in the world's biggest vehicle market.

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