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The Kikai, which lays bare the usually hidden mechanical structures of a vehicle, is one of Toyota's future-car concepts.

Japan automakers spending record $25bn on R&D

Even as profits slide, AI, self-driving tech demand active investment

| Japan

NAGOYA, Japan -- Research and development spending by seven major Japanese carmakers is expected to total a record 2.85 trillion yen ($25.5 billion) in fiscal 2017 as they scramble for advantage in such technologies as autonomous driving.

The sum is up 7% from fiscal 2016. Honda Motor, Suzuki Motor, Mazda Motor and Subaru are to spend their most ever. Toyota Motor and Nissan Motor will keep their existing record levels from fiscal 2015. Mitsubishi Motors will increase its outlays by 20%.

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