Japanese automakers purchased a record $31.9 billion of U.S.-made auto parts in fiscal year 1999 for use in Japan and the U.S. -- the 13th year in a row of increases, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturer s Association (JAMA).

"This represents a 13 percent increase over FY 1998. It also demonstrates the continuing internationalization of the auto industry as well as cooperation between Japanese manufacturers and U.S. parts producers," said William C. Duncan, General Director, JAMA USA.

The parts are used for vehicle production in both the United States and Japan. "Auto parts sales to Japan's companies are also a result of more than fifteen years of effort at the company-to- company, manufacturer-to-supplier level," Duncan added.

Japanese automakers currently report purchases of $3.78 billion of parts and materials from the U.S. for use in Japan. "These figures show opportunities exist in Japan and around the world for U.S. parts makers who meet Japanese automakers' requirements. These parts purchases represent a mutual effort by Japanese vehicle manufacturers and U.S. parts suppliers," he concluded.

Japan's fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31.