• world


trade,” said Yukari Sato, chief economist at Credit Suisse First Boston Securities (Japan) Ltd.

Economists and government officials predict that Japan’s trade with China will grow further, given lower tariffs and an improving investment climate spurred by China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001.

According to the report, Japan’s worldwide trade surplus in 2004 grew 17.9 percent from the previous year to 12.01 trillion yen for the third straight year of increase.

Exports increased 12.2 percent to 61.18 trillion yen and imports grew 10.8 percent to 49.17 trillion yen.

Imports of crude oil expanded 13.8 percent and those of coal were up 46.6 percent, steel exports climbed 22.0 percent and those of semiconductor manufacturing equipment rose 22.7 percent.

Japan’s trade surplus with the rest of Asia totaled a record 7.43 trillion yen, up 32.9 percent from the previous year. Exports hit a record 29.64 trillion yen, up 17.1 percent, and imports logged a record 22.21 trillion yen, up 12.6 percent.

Steel exports to other Asian economies rose 23.7 percent, while imports of audiovisual equipment surged 23.7 percent.

Meat imports from the U.S. slumped 50.8 percent due to Japan’s ongoing ban on U.S. beef, implemented following the discovery of mad cow disease in the country in December 2003.

Japan’s exports to the European Union marked a record 9.47 trillion yen, up 10.1 percent. Imports from the 25-nation bloc were a record 6.21 trillion yen, up 8.0 percent.

That brought the trade surplus with the EU up 14.5 percent to 3.27 trillion yen.

In December, Japan’s worldwide trade surplus rose 1.8 percent from a year earlier to 1.14 trillion yen.

Exports in the month climbed 8.8 percent to 5.40 trillion yen and imports rose 10.9 percent to 4.25 trillion yen.

Japan’s trade surplus with other Asian economies fell 2.3 percent to 706.9 billion yen, with exports up 7.5 percent to 2.63 trillion yen and imports up 11.7 percent to 1.92 trillion yen.

The trade surplus with the U.S. increased 18.9 percent to 663.8 billion yen, with exports up 6.0 percent to 1.18 trillion yen and imports down 6.8 percent to 518.8 billion yen.

Japan’s exports to the EU climbed 11.0 percent to 866.8 billion yen and imports rose 1.6 percent to 522.0 billion yen, driving the trade surplus up 29.2 percent to 344.9 billion yen.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.