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The nation’s customs-cleared trade surplus for the month of August came to 742.1 billion yen, rising 113.6 percent from the same period last year, according to statistics released Sept. 17 by the Finance Ministry.

It was the fifth straight month in which the figure grew on a year-on-year basis. And as they did five months ago, ministry officials said they still do not believe the Japanese economic structure remains one in which the surplus will rise to huge levels in the long term.

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