As Japanese fortunes wane for the time being in the U.S., American automakers are setting up Asian beachheads. Chrysler Corp. and Ford Motor Co. become the first U.S. automakers to receive vehicle assembly plant licenses in Vietnam. Toyota also lands a license to make cars in the southeast Asian nation. All three automakers will be minority partners with Vietnamese state-owned companies. Chrysler plans a $190 million investment in two phases through 2003. Ford plans a $102 million plant near Hanoi and Toyota plans a $170 million plant. Industry sources estimate 11,500 cars and commercial vehicles, mostly imported from Japan, were sold in Vietnam last year. An expected 60,000 a year will be needed by 2000. In other moves in Asia, Honda, which will begin producing motorcycles in Vietnam with a partner in 1997, also signs a $280 million joint venture with Shriram Industrial Eng. Ltd. of India. Honda will begin India production of a Civic-based model in summer 1997 and make about 10,000 cars a year initially, rising to 30,000 in three years.