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Japan to assess impact on car industry

The Yomiuri Shimbun U.S. sanctions against Iran could negatively impact Japan’s auto manufacturers if auto exports to Iran are hurt by the sanctions.

According to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Japan exported 20,000 vehicles to Iran in 2017. Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has car dealerships there and annually exports several hundred vehicles to the country.

Japan’s auto exports to Iran are smaller than the 125,000 vehicles it exported to the United Arab Emirates, a major importer of Japanese vehicles in the Middle East. However, if the resumption of U.S. sanctions causes Japan to export fewer vehicles to Iran, all domestic automakers would be impacted to an extent.

Meanwhile, Japan exported more than 50,000 tons of domestically made iron and steel to Iran in 2017, or about 0.1 percent of all such exports, according to the Japan Iron and Steel Federation. In addition, Japan’s imports of iron and steel from Iran are very small. U.S. sanctions will therefore likely have only a small impact on steel and iron-related industries in Japan.

Concerning the resumption of U.S. sanctions against Iran, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said at a press conference after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, “We want to closely analyze the impact [the sanctions] could have on Japanese companies.”Speech

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