Honda and Nissan are confident that their sales in China will grow strongly this year after a surge in October over the same month in 2012 when they were hit by anti-Japan sentiment sparked by the territorial row between Tokyo and Beijing.

Honda's sales more than tripled to 75,150 units, compared with 24,115 in October 2012, while those of Nissan jumped 127.8% to 114,700. The figures suggest a further sign of an improvement in Chinese consumers' feelings toward Japanese cars despite little political progress in bilateral relations.

Last week, Toyota also reported that sales in China rose 80.6% in October on the year to 82,400 units. Honda, supported by strong demand for the new Crider sedan and the CR-V SUV reported that sales for the first 10 months of the year in the country rose 15.8% from a year earlier to 572,405 units.

During the same period, Nissan's sales increased 7.1% to about 1m units. To achieve solid sales gains, it plans to introduce the new Teana luxury sedan, specifically designed for the Chinese market, at the Guangzhou Auto Show later this month.

The Japanese government's purchase of part of the Senkaku Islands from a private Japanese owner in September last year triggered a wave of protests that led to a consumer boycott of Japanese products.

The uninhabited islets in the East China Sea are claimed by China, which calls them Diaoyu.