Vehicle exports jumped 20.6 percent in the first half of calendar 1997 from a year earlier to 2.18 million vehicles, an industry association said July 28.

The year-on-year growth was largely due to a 122.3 percent increase in U.S.-bound exports, their first upturn since 1986, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said. The association also said the rises in exports to European Union member states, and Central and South America also contributed to growth in the January-June period.

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