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A total 361,787 new cars, trucks and buses were sold in Japan in February, down 1.6 percent from a year earlier, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Monday.

The decline follows a 4.8 percent rise in January, the first increase in three months. The sales data exclude minivehicles or those with an engine displacement of up to 660cc.

Sales of cars fell 3.9 percent to 311,958 units as a decline in sales of cars with an engine of up to 2,000cc more than offset increased sales of larger cars.

Sales of cars with an engine of up to 2,000cc slipped 15.3 percent to 187,432 units, while those of larger cars rose 20.6 percent to 124,526 units.

Sales of trucks rose 16.5 percent to 48,019 units, while those of buses rose 3.4 percent to 1,810 units.

Demand has been rising in recent months for new trucks and buses due to tighter diesel-engine emission regulations that took effect in the Tokyo metropolitan area Oct. 1.

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