^...what you will notice is that the Japanese only buy the German cars in Japan, because it's the only make they feel is an upgrade from their own Japanese models. Americans struggled to buy American cars, with Japanese cars outselling American brands, which told the Japanese that the American product was not better than their own products. So their only upgrade was a German model. VW, even though it's a 'consumer' model, is still German and a label.
But remember, the Japan 'closed' auto market is small, and declined -9.3% in 2015(still declining in 2016) with total registrations of 5,045,511 vehicles, which includes all the tiny home market Kei cars. By comparison, in the US car sales were over 17.5 Million.
Oh....and asside from the Japan government creating a closed Kei car market in Japan, they also installed heavy restrictions/fees for anything larger. Leaving Japan is the best move Ford could make, while putting their focus toward China, where there is actual potential for tremendous growth for Ford and Lincoln.
Kei cars were designed to give post WW2 Japan affordable transportation and allow its local auto industry to grow. Larger cars were a luxury. These low-cost cars not only put Japan back on wheels, they also fit well in narrow roads and side streets.
A lot of people just say Japan is a closed market and not look deeper into it. Ford should have offered their full lineup of small European models which competed directly with VWs strong sellers in Japan.
For several years Ford Japan sold gas guzzlers, which to be honest was not a good idea. Adding right-size cars only in costly top spec trim was not enough of an effort either. I knew even back then that this was not enough for them to survive.
Ford needed the little Ka, Ford needed the Fiesta, Focus and Ecosport in low, mid, and high trim. Ford could have also added the B-Max and C-Max.
For the longest time, Asia has been dominated by Japanes brands, Ford is now making its mark in South East Asia by selling the right (class-leading) vehicles in popular segments in the region like diesel SUVs and pickups.
There are other decent size segments in South East Asia Ford is absent in though, A-segment city cars and vans/MPVs.
The problem I think is they have the vehicles needed, but they don't offer them in some markets. Outside China and the middle east, Ford's lineup in most of Asia is still incomplete.
Ford is probably giving too much attention to China.