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Major Japanese carmakers may have benefited from the yen’s sharp decline this year, but they were also hurt by the consumption tax hike and prospects for the domestic market appear dim, Fumihiko Ike, chief of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, said Monday.

“2014 has been a complicated year . . . the superstrong yen that had affected (automakers’ bottom lines) has rapidly weakened, which is definitely a plus,” Ike said during an interview with media outlets at JAMA’s headquarters.

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