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Japanese buy fewer new cars

Reflecting a downturn in the Japanese economy, new-car registrations in April plunged 41 percent from the previous month -- down to 228,471 units, trade figures released here May 7 showed.

The figures also represent a 10.9 percent decline in registrations from a year ago, the Japan Automobile Sales Federation said.

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Sales of light-passenger cars also dropped in April, down to 12,998 units from 18,418 units the previous month.