Japan’s trade surplus in August grew 23.1 percent from a year earlier, marking the second consecutive monthly rise, the Finance Ministry said Monday in a preliminary report.

The jump was led by increased exports to other parts of Asia. Exports of semiconductor chips and other electronics parts, installed in mobile telephones, video game consoles and other wireless devices, continued to be brisk in the reporting month, the ministry said.

Japan’s overall customs-cleared trade surplus — exports minus imports — stood at 787.2 billion yen, as exports increased by 6.4 percent to 4.33 trillion yen and imports rose by 3.3 percent to 3.54 trillion yen.

The imports soared on the back of demand for crude oil, used to generate electricity, but the growth was limited due to the unusually cold summer.

Japan’s trade surplus with other parts of Asia surged 42 percent to 541.6 billion yen. It was the second consecutive monthly rise. Exports were up 13.9 percent to 2.11 trillion yen, with imports up 6.6 percent to 1.57 trillion yen.

Japan’s trade with China alone, however, marked a deficit of 132.12 billion yen, down 33.9 percent from a year earlier.

The country’s trade surplus with the United States declined 5 percent to 474.7 billion yen, marking the lowest level in the past seven years, reflecting a fall in demand for cars in the U.S. as well as moves by Japanese manufacturers to shift production to other parts of Asia.

The surplus logged its eighth straight monthly drop.

The trade surplus with the European Union rose by 14.1 percent to 174.2 billion yen, marking its second straight monthly rise, mainly because of increased exports of sport utility vehicles, cell phones with small cameras, and digital cameras.

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