Japan’s Exports, Imports & Trade
Japan is the 5th largest importer and exporter in the world. Japan imports raw materials and pays for them by processing the raw materials, thus adding value to them before exporting the output. In recent years, Japan has been the top export market for 15 trading nations worldwide. In order to greater facilitate bilateral trade, Japan adopts Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) According to former Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, countries move on to discuss higher-level issues in EPAs, such as "devising framework through which investment can take place in a secure manner, or developing a mechanism to ensure protection of intellectual property rights". The list of Japanese EPAs include those with ASEAN, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, Chile, India, Mexico, Peru, Korea and Switzerland. Despite Japan’s extensive list of EPA partners, China remains as Japan’s largest export and import partner. In 2010, 18.88 percent of Japan’s exports went to Japan while 22.22 percent of Japanese imports came from China. Japan has been struggling to combat deflation for more than a decade. From 1999 to 2009, there were only three years in which Japan did not experience deflation. Even then, inflation rates (average consumer price change) were at 0 percent for two years (2004 and 2007) and a mere 0.3 percent in 2006. In 2010, Japan experienced deflation once again with an inflation rate (average consumer price change) of negative 0.698 percent. Japan is likely to overcome deflation in 2011; though it is more of a result of food and energy shortages caused by the tsunami, rather than that of monetary policies having any effect. In 2011, Japan’s inflation rate (average consumer price change) is expected to reach 0.156 percent. From 2012 to 2016, inflation (average consumer price change) is expected to increase in Japan though it is unlikely to go over the 1 percent mark. Inflation (average consumer...
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