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Japanese exports to China continue to suffer, amid island squabble

By Matt Phillips
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The tensions between Japan and China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea continues to have real ramifications for the Japanese economy.

Japanese exports to China posted another decline of nearly 12% in October, as the country posted its biggest-ever trade deficit versus the People’s Republic.

That follows from a 14% decline during September. Here’s a look at export trade data from the ministry of finance: 

The Wall Street Journal notes that “exports of automobiles to China were down 82% on the year, and exports of car parts were off 28.1%.” That’s because protests in China over the islands dispute has hit Japanese car sales, suspended production, and scared off investors.

The data offer an interesting backdrop to the news that China, Japan and South Korea (which has a dispute with Japan over another set of islands) agreed this week to paper over their differences enough to start talks on a comprehensive free trade deal.

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