BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Kyodo) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday its new car sales in China jumped 23.5 percent year-on-year in January to 72,500 units.

It is the first month of increase in seven months, indicating that the company's sales in the country are recovering from the fallout due to anti-Japanese protests in China last year.

Toyota sold 58,700 vehicles in January last year, down 26.2 percent from the same month a year earlier. Last year's dip in sales was attributed to the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in January. The holiday, during which car sales usually slow to a crawl, falls in February this year.

The Japanese government's decision in mid-September to purchase part of the Senkaku Islands from a private owner set off violent anti-Japan street protests in many Chinese cities. The Japan-administered islands in the East China Sea are also claimed by China, where they are known as Diaoyu.

An ensuing boycott of Japanese cars and other Japanese products led to sharp falls in sales of Japanese vehicles in China.