Japan's goods trade balance logged its first deficit in four months in May on sluggish exports to China amid Beijing's economic friction with the United States, government data showed Wednesday.

The deficit stood at ¥967.1 billion ($8.9 billion) with exports dropping 7.8 percent from a year earlier to ¥5.84 trillion, down for the sixth consecutive month, and imports declining 1.5 percent to ¥6.80 trillion, the first decline in three months, according to a preliminary report by the Finance Ministry.

Trade tensions between the world's two biggest economies escalated in the reporting month, with U.S. President Donald Trump imposing heavy sanctions on Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co., citing national security concerns.