The country's seven major automakers, including Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co, sold a combined 2.3 million vehicles last month, according to Reuters calculations based on sales data released by the companies on Thursday.
The decline in monthly sales has, however, slowed significantly since a 50% slump in April as the Japanese car makers benefit from a rebound in demand, particularly in China, the world's biggest auto market.
Total global production at Japan's seven major automakers rose 1.2% year-on-year to 2.4 million units last month, compared with a 14% dip in August.
Global demand for cars has been weak since March because of coronavirus lockdowns. A third wave of infections is forcing some countries to re-impose tighter curbs.
(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Himani Sarkar)