Japan in 2003 saw the beginnings of an economic recovery after a crippling, decade-long recession. But the market reacted warily, unsure whether the rebound actually would be sustainable. That question remained unanswered at the end of the year. Industries dependent on exports, including automotive, which continued to strengthen its international competitiveness, as well as machinery and steel, were driving the recovery. (See related data: Japan Vehicle Sales by Line by Month, 2003) ...

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