Japan's domestic sales of new vehicles fell 5.5 percent year-on-year to 345,226 units in April, mainly due to a fall in demand caused by the consumption tax hike, data released by industry bodies showed Thursday. Sales of new vehicles posted the first decline in eight months, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Mini Vehicles Association. The government raised sales tax on April 1 from 5 percent to 8 percent to restore the country's fiscal health. Dealers said consumers made last-minute purchases before the tax increase. Among Japan's top three automakers, Toyota Motor Corp. sold 90,108 new cars, down 16.8 percent, while Honda Motor Corp's sales surged 72.4 percent to 31,329 units thanks to strong demand for its next-generation hybrid mode. Nissan Motor Corp. saw a 20.9 percent plunge to 23,593 units.