Japan logs record $134bn trade deficit for 2013By AP News Apr 21, 2014 11:30AM UTC
TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s trade deficit surged nearly 70 percent to a record 13.75 trillion yen ($134 billion) in the last fiscal year as exports failed to keep pace with surging costs for imported oil and gas.
The Finance Ministry reported Monday that exports in the year that ended March 31 rose 10.8 percent over the year before to 70.8 trillion yen ($690.5 billion) while imports climbed 17.3 percent to 84.6 trillion yen ($825 billion).
Resource-scarce Japan’s costs for imports of energy have soared since the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Plant led to the closures of all of its nuclear reactors for safety checks.
Meanwhile, a weakening of the Japanese yen last year further pushed costs for all imports higher, while exports have risen only modestly.