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June 28, 2017

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Japan's exports up for the sixth month in a row in May

TOKYO -- Japan's exports increased 14.9 percent from a year earlier to 5.85 trillion yen (US$52.7 billion) in May, marking the sixth straight month of increase, the government said Monday.

Thanks in part to a weaker yen, exports to China, Japan's largest trading partner, surged 23.9 percent year-on-year to 1.12 trillion yen, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report.

Exports to the United States also rose 11.6 percent to 1.08 trillion yen, while those to the European Union climbed 19.8 percent to 692.4 billion yen, the ministry said.

Japan's overall imports also jumped 17.8 percent to 6.05 trillion yen due to a rise in crude oil prices. That resulted in a trade deficit of 203.4 billion yen in May, the first red in four months, the ministry said.

Japan has imported more petroleum and liquefied natural gas for power generation since a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in 2011, which was hit by a huge earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

Of Japan's 42 workable nuclear reactors, only five are currently in operation amid lingering public worries about nuclear power generation following the disaster.

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