Japan should not limit car exports to the United States until it is officially determined that such sales are hurting the American auto industry, Takashi Ishihara, the president of the Nissan Motor Company, said Monday.
"If Japanese carmakers impose self-restraints on exports [to the United States], it is tantamount to admitting" that Japanese sales are hurting the US industry, he told a news conference.
The Nissan chief, fresh from a trip to the US, was commenting on investigations by the US International Trade Commission on the effect of surging Japanese car sales.
The American industry claims Japanese imports, which account for nearly 1 out of every 5 cars sold in the US, are responsible for laying off more than 300,000 American auto wokers.
Industry analysts said Mr. Ishihara's statement was likely to prompt more US demands for legislative curbs on Japanese auto imports.