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