This news is quite significant:
Japan’s trade surplus has fallen for the fourth time in five months, highlighting the weakness of exports and considerably higher import costs.
The surplus for May was down 68 per cent year on year at Y297bn, considerably less than market forecasts. The value of exports was up only 1.4 per cent on the year at Y4,796bn while the value of imports rose 19 per cent to Y4,499, boosted by high oil prices, the Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday.
The figures provide further evidence that Japan can no longer rely on external demand to keep its own economy growing. In particular, the value of exports to China declined by 0.1 per cent.
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