News ID: 275686
Published: 0801 GMT October 19, 2020

Japan exports fall amid slow recovery from pandemic downturn

Japan exports fall amid slow recovery from pandemic downturn
KOJI SASAHARA/AP
Cars are parked to be exported at Yokohama port, near Tokyo, Japan, on Sept. 29, 2020.

Japan’s exports fell at a slower pace in September in a sign that trade damage from the coronavirus pandemic is easing, according to Finance Ministry data released Monday.

The report showed Japan’s exports in September declined 4.9% from the same month a year earlier, better than the nearly 15% drop in August, AP reported.

The nation’s imports fell 17.2% overall, compared with 20.8% in August.

Exports to China jumped 14% while shipments to the US inched up 0.7%, in another possible sign of a gradual rebound. By sector, computer exports to the world surged nearly 45%.

Japan’s export-reliant economy has sunk into recession, with three straight quarters of contraction through June, as the outbreak slammed business activity and stifled trade.

But a recovery in China, where COVID-19 emerged late last year, and recoveries in some other Asian countries are helping Japan regain momentum.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who took office a month ago, left Sunday for Vietnam and Indonesia, where virus cases are relatively low, to drum up business and trade.

Suga agreed with his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, to step up defense and security cooperation.

In talks with his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, in Hanoi on Monday, Suga set a basic agreement allowing Japan to export defense equipment and technology to Vietnam.

The deal was expected: Japan has been pursuing such agreements in recent years to bolster ties with Southeast Asia and provide a lifeline to its own defense industry.

His predecessor, Abe Shinzo, had tried to sustain economic growth with his “Abenomics” package of programs based on zero interest rates and curtailing deflation.

 

   
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