Exports of vehicles from Japan to the United States dropped 10.8% year on year last month to 160,107, the first fall since January 2005, according to Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) statistics.


Industry observers attributed the April fall to a slowdown in demand among US drivers, as evidenced by the first fall in two years in April’s US sales of Toyota vehicles, Reuters said.


Overall exports up 2.3% gain to 484,702 units were due partly to increases in shipments to Russia and Latin American countries, JAMA told the news agency.


The export slow-donw may help defuse a growing trade row. US domestic automakers have recently complained that the yen is artificially undervalued against the dollar, prompting Japanese automakers to export more fully-built cars to the US from Japan.