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Japan's trade deficit reemerges after 30 years

By Yu Qing (People's Daily)

14:52, January 11, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

Japan's trade deficit from January to November 2011 totals 2.3 trillion yen, generally defining the trend of the whole year's trade balance deficit status. This is the first time for Japan to be a trade-deficit country over 31 years since 1980, according to data of Japan's foreign trade position.

The main reasons should be as follows: Firstly, the large-scale appreciation of Japanese yen that leads to obstructions in export; secondly, the tsunami and nuclear accident, after which some nuclear power plants are closed and the import of liquefied natural gas for thermal power generation sees a dramatic increase.

The structural reasons for trade deficit are hard to be changed in a short time. The European debt crisis exerts a broad influence on global economic growth, with no exception to the export of Japanese products.

The import of fuels for thermal power generation will have to be increased if the operating rate of nuclear power plants is still lower than that before the earthquake.

In 2012, whether Japan could shake off the doom of trade deficit would primarily depend on whether its export capacity could be increased.

Experts said with optimistic attitudes that, despite the fact that Japan's export is suppressed by Europe's economic slowdown, the employment trend witnesses a continual improvement and the sales of automobile is recovering thanks to the favorable signs in American economy.

Besides, benefiting from the growth of China’s economy, a steady increase could be realized for Japan's export to America and China. All these will be main motive forces for Japan's export.

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