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Tech arms race lifts Japan carmakers' R&D budget to record

Fuel cell cars hold great promise as a clean-energy tech.

TOKYO -- Rushing to meet technological needs in the era of tightening environmental regulations, Japanese automakers are set to spend a record sum on research and development this fiscal year.

R&D investment by seven major Japanese carmakers will rise to an all-time-high 2.81 trillion yen ($26.8 billion), according to data compiled by The Nikkei. That would mark a 2.8% uptick from fiscal 2015 and the seventh straight annual increase.

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