Japan's trade deficit hits record levels

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The Independent Online

Japan's trade deficit hit a record high in the last financial year, the Ministry of Finance said.

The balance of trade deficit for 2011-12 came in at ¥8.17trn (£54.6bn), reflecting weak global trade markets and elevated fuel import costs. However, March exports rose 1.1 per cent on a year earlier — with sales to the US up 7 per cent — raising hopes that the yen's decline was boosting manufacturers. The yen has fallen to its lowest against the dollar in four years.