Tokyo (dpa) – Japan’s trade deficit grew 37.9 per cent in November from a year earlier to 953.4 billion yen (11.3 billion dollars), the third-largest on record, as exports declined on tensions with China and the eurozone debt crisis, the government said Wednesday.
The deficit was the fifth in a row as exports for the export-reliant economy fell 4.1 per cent to 4.98 trillion yen for the fifth-consecutive month of year-on-year declines, the Finance Ministry said. Imports edged up 0.8 per cent to 5.94 trillion yen, it said.
Exports to China, Japan’s biggest trading partner, dropped 14.5 per cent to 858.7 billion yen in their six-straight monthly decline amid slower growth in the world’s second-largest economy and a territorial spat between the two countries, the ministry said.
Car shipments to China dived 68.6 per cent, those of car parts dropped 43.5 per cent and those of general machinery fell 46.5 per cent, the ministry said.
Japan’s purchase of disputed islets in the East China Sea from a private owner sparked anti-Japan protests in dozens of Chinese cities and led to a boycott of Japanese products. The Japan-administered islets are also claimed by China and Taiwan.
Shipments to the European Union plunged 19.9 per cent to 501.6 billion yen for the 14th-consecutive month of year-on-year declines.
Exports to the US rose 5.3 per cent to 933.8 billion yen for the 13th-consecutive monthly increase.