• Kyodo

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Japan posted a current account surplus for the 28th consecutive month in October, helped by cheap oil prices and the yen’s strength, the government said Thursday.

The surplus jumped 22.7 percent to ¥1.72 trillion ($15 billion), with the trade surplus increasing.

Among key components in the current account, one of the widest gauges of a country’s international trade, goods trade registered a surplus of ¥587.6 billion, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report.

Japan relies heavily on crude oil imports, particularly since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster that led to most of the country’s commercial nuclear reactors being taken offline.

The value of crude oil imports slid 27.2 percent as average oil prices dropped 5.7 percent to $45.17 per barrel in the month.

The surplus in the primary income account, which reflects how much Japan earns from foreign investments, fell 14.8 percent to ¥1.47 trillion.

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