Japan posted a trade deficit of ¥81.2 billion ($605 million) in electronic equipment in the second half of 2022, government data showed, marking the first time on record that imports have exceeded exports for a half-year period amid a decline in the competitiveness of Japanese products.

The deficit also reflects a move by Japanese manufacturers to shift their production bases overseas.

The first red ink since comparable data became available in 1988 provides a stark contrast to the 1990s, when the industry propped up the nation's trade with an annual surplus of almost ¥8 trillion.