• Kyodo News

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Crude steel output in 2010 surged 25.2 percent from the previous year to 109.60 million tons, marking the first rise in three years, an industry group said Thursday.

The upturn came after crude steel production in 2009 was driven down by the global financial crisis to its lowest level since 1969.

Officials at the Japan Iron and Steel Federation traced the rebound to greater demand from Japanese carmakers, whose sales received a boost from the subsidy buying program for environmentally friendly cars.

They also said exports to overseas markets, such as China and Southeastern Asian countries, remained robust.

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