Toyota has said that its sales of cars in China in the first two months of the year fell 13.3% on the previous year to 108,800 units.

While the company's sales in January jumped 23.5% year-on-year to 72,500 units, they plunged 45.7% in February on the year to 36,300 units. The monthly swings are due to the timing of the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday.

The relatively low cumulative drop will provide some comfort in Japan that the negative impact of the China-Japan diplomatic dispute that intensified last year may be short-lived. However, the dispute is far from resolved and could still flare up.