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Japan’s customs-cleared trade surplus for the month of January stood at 381.5 billion yen, a complete turnaround from the 24.5 billion yen trade deficit a year ago and the 10th consecutive month of year-on-year growth, according to provisional figures released Thursday.

But the nation recorded a trade deficit with Asia of 34.3 billion yen — the first time since January 1990 that the figure fell into the red — reflecting the regional economic slowdown triggered by turmoil on the currency and financial markets.

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