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Japan Posts First Annual Trade Deficit In 31 Years

A devastating tsunami last March contributed to Japan's economic woes.
Japan has announced that it has recorded its first annual trade deficit since 1981.
The Japanese Finance Ministry said on January 25 that the country posted a $32 billion trade deficit in 2011.

The drop was attributed to the March earthquake and tsunami, which caused severe destruction along the northeastern coast, including a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Another reason for the deficit was the strong yen in 2011, which contributed to a 2.7 percent reduction in exports while Japan saw imports rise by some 12 percent.

compiled from agency reports