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Japan to Drop Limits on Car Exports to U.S.

December 13, 1985|Associated Press

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, a government official said today.

Another extension of the original, three-year program launched in 1981 is "out of the question unless there is some exceptional" justification, said the International Trade and Industry Ministry official who wished not to be identified.

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 limited annual car exports to the U.S. market to 1.63 million vehicles until 1983. In fiscal 1984, Japanese auto makers extended the measure twice, but raised shipments to a total of 1.85 million cars.

In another extension this year, they raised that total by 24.3%, to 2.3 million for the fiscal year ending next March 31.

Toyota Motor Corp., Japan's largest auto maker, announced Wednesday that it will build an assembly plant in the United States to produce 200,000 passenger cars beginning in 1988.

The plant in Georgetown, Ky., will employ 3,000 people. There are five Japanese auto companies either building automobiles in the United States or planning to do so.

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