Japan notches 20th straight trade deficit

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TOKYO (AP) — Japan has notched its 20th straight monthly trade deficit in February as soaring energy imports continued to offset the value of exported goods.

According to government data released Wednesday, the deficit totaled 800.3 billion yen ($8 billion), up 3.5 percent from the same month a year ago. That’s a record amount for the month of February.

Resource-poor Japan relies heavily on imported oil and natural gas. Those costs have surged following the March 2011 nuclear crisis in Fukushima, which has led to all 48 of the nation’s working reactors going off line.

The 20-month streak is the longest since the Finance Ministry started keeping records.

Associated Press

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