Japan trade deficit surges on-year to $10b in June

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's trade deficit more than quadrupled in June from a year ago as the country logged another dip in exports, extending a string of monthly declines in

shipments overseas to two years, data showed Thursday.

The deficit stood at 822.2 billion yen (S$10 billion) in June, ballooning from a year-earlier shortfall of 180.5 billion yen and blowing past market expectations for a deficit of 684.7 billion yen.

Exports fell 2.0 per cent year-on-year to 5.94 trillion yen while imports rose 8.4 per cent to 6.76 trillion yen.

Japan's imports have jumped in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011 when the country shut down its atomic reactors and turned to pricey fossil-fuel imports to plug its energy gap.

Nuclear once supplied more than one quarter of the resource-poor country's energy.