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Nissan Diesel Motor Co. announced a new three-year restructuring program Tuesday that will help it reduce its interest-bearing debt to 250 billion yen by the end of March 2006 from about 420 billion yen at the end of last March.

The program, to start in April, calls for expanding its tieup with China’s Dong Feng Automobile Co. to include the provision of more parts and technology and cooperation on bus development.

The move follows the comprehensive tieup agreement struck earlier this month between Dong Feng and Nissan Motor Co., Nissan Diesel’s parent firm, on joint production of cars, trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles in China.

Nissan Diesel plans to increase exports to South Africa, Asia and the United States under the restructuring program, the company said.

To cut its liabilities, it plans to reduce inventory by increasing build-to-order manufacturing, and withdraw from loan operations provided by Nissan group companies.

Nissan Diesel aims to raise its ratio of operating profit to sales from 3.1 percent in the year that ended March 31 to 5.5 percent in the year to March 31, 2006, by cutting costs of auto parts by 20 percent to 30 percent while boosting sales of large trucks through enhanced after-sales services.

Domestic demand for trucks has been sluggish, leaving Japanese truck makers eager to seek support from foreign automakers. Nissan Diesel’s large liabilities have been viewed as an obstacle to such a tieup.

Yamaha recalls bikes

Yamaha Motor Co. said Tuesday it will recall 3,178 of its TW225E motorcycles due to potential engine malfunctions.

In a report submitted to the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry, Yamaha said defects have been found in the ignition trigger equipment.

If a driver presses the start button and changes gears at the same time while the motorcycle’s side stand is open, there is a danger the engine will not stop, even if the main switch is deactivated, the company said.

Subject to the recall are motorcycles made between June and September, it said.

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