Japan’s exports nearly halved in January compared with the same month last year.
The value of overall exports hit a 10-year low, indicating a deepening recession across much of the world. And the fall was much greater than those seen so far in South Korea and China. One explanation is that many factories in China and elsewhere in Asia use Japanese components to make goods that are ultimately sold in the West. There were record slides of Japanese exports to Europe; they were down 47.4 percent, also to the rest of Asia which saw a decrease of 46.7 percent and the United States where exports declines 45.1 percent. The figures will likely mean further production cuts. Japanese car exports fell by two-thirds from a year earlier, accelerating from a 45 percent annual decline seen in December. The country’s big three car firms made far fewer vehicles in January. Toyota’s output was down by 39 percent, Honda’s over 35 percent and Nissan’s 54 percent.