Japan's current account surplus in August more than tripled from a year earlier to ¥2.28 trillion ($15 billion), helped by a decline in import costs that trimmed the resource-scarce nation's trade deficit and a revival of inbound tourism, government data showed Tuesday.

The country was in the black for the seventh straight month, according to a preliminary report from the Finance Ministry. The figure was the second-highest ever for August.

The current account balance is one of the widest gauges of international trade.