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China tops Japan trading partner for 2 years
Updated: 2006-01-26 15:56

Japan's two-way trade with China totaled 24,949.1 billion yen in 2005, making the country Japan's biggest trading partner for the second straight year, according to Finance Ministry data released Thursday.

Meanwhile, Japan's worldwide trade surplus in 2005 shrank 26.5 percent from the previous year to 8,785.2 billion yen, marking the first fall in four years as high crude oil prices inflated the value of imports, the ministry said in a preliminary report.

The two-way trade with China, up 12.4 percent from 2004, eclipsed Japan's 21,876.1 billion yen two-way trade in 2005 with the United States, Japan's previous largest trading partner.

Japan's exports to China, including Hong Kong, came to 12,809.3 billion yen, up 8.3 percent from the previous year, and imports rose to 12,139.7 billion yen, up 17.0 percent, giving Japan a 669.6 billion yen customs-cleared trade surplus, down 53.8 percent.

Japan's trade surplus with the rest of Asia totaled 6,542.2 billion yen, down 11.7 percent from the previous year for the first contraction in four years.

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