Japanese manufacturers are seeing sales growth again in China after the 'blip' caused by a diplomatic row between China and Japan over islands in the South China Sea. Nissan is performing particularly well with sales up 55.6% to 71,900 units in February.

The Nikkei notes that the company has made deeper inroads in China than any other Japanese automaker, generating 20% of its worldwide sales there. Nissan's new car sales in China climbed 17% to a record 1.26m units in 2013.

The Nikkei says that efforts to design cars tailored for Chinese customers have paid off. Sales rose for the Sylphy sedan and the China-exclusive Venucia brand, the news agency notes.

Nissan's Chinese sales are handled through a joint venture with Dongfeng, and the venture's earnings are growing.

Sales for this calendar year are expected to rise just over 10% to more than 1.4m vehicles, helped by the release of the new X-Trail.