TOKYO — Japan plans to drop its "voluntary restraint" on auto exports to the United States at the start of fiscal year 1986 and halt a five-year trade concession aimed at helping the U.S. auto industry revamp, an official of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said today.
Japan "will not consider another extension of its 'voluntary restraint' " on shipments of passenger cars to the United States, set at 2.3 million vehicles for the 1985 fiscal year ending March 31, said an automobile division official who did not want to be identified.
A third extension of the original three-year program launched in 1981 is "out of the question unless there is some exceptional" justification, the official said.
Japan adopted the ceiling on U.S.-bound car exports in 1981 for a three-year period to provide beleaguered U.S. manufacturers breathing room while they rebuilt the industry. It extended the measure twice in 1984 and this year.
It limited annual car exports to the U.S. market to 1.63 million vehicles until 1983. Japanese auto makers plan to ship a total of 2.3 million vehicles this fiscal year, or 24.3% more than the 1.85 million exported in fiscal year 1984.