business

Japan records huge trade deficit as imports soar

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© 2011 AFP

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"Japanese power companies have stepped up imports of fossil fuel as many nuclear reactors went offline after the disaster."

Well this may have something to do with it, but without saying exactly how much natural gas etc they imported and at what prices, it is not possible to say what effect it will have on these figures. Frankly speaking, countries like Japan have gouged their Asian counterparts for years, taking their natural resources and selling them back to them as products. It's quite possible that some of this deficit (as they call it) is about goods Japanese companies ship t Japan made elsewhere. Even if not, the Japanese have profited so log from the misery and poverty in Asia & have taken their resources. I don't shed any tars for the rich Japanese businessmen.

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Beangry please also note the rich japanese businessmen cry no tears for you either.

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Who would buy Japanese products at the current exchange rate? Importers are having a hey-day importing cheaply and taking home the expensive yen. Japan needs to change its business model.

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I guess the soaring yen did help German cars to become less unaffordable

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funny how prices of imports have not come down so much. It is such a value now, going to Korea and buying duty free. Retailers are not bringing prices down much and the importer or someone in the middle is taking a bigger cut. Again the Japanese consumer gets screwed...

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And yet, the government will just give subsides to "help" companies survive...

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Dotakun @

Yes, to an extent imports are increasing. But do not forget that Japan is a very closed and unfair market for foreign products. Many things simply aren't available when they should be. And to be honest, I do my own CPI (consumer price index) of foreign foods, and I can see no decrease in prices here in Japan. In some case, they have risen. This is to be expected since the J companies will keep the difference as profit. And since the demand for foreign food has rarely been higher (many reject Japanese food from certain areas over radiation contamination, including Japanese), that might account for the outrageous prices. Abroad, of course, as Zichi was saying, is another story. Korea is a great bargain if you have yen.

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funny how prices of imports have not come down so much

I've noticed wine shops clearing out there inventories, especially of old Old World vintages. It's a good time to snap up some bargains on '90s Bordeauxs.

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If you have a car and go to the gasoline stations, it is outrageous that now the yen almost 70 yen to the US Dollar, that gasoline prices are still fixed as if the yen was over say 130 yen to the USD so I agree 100% with Dotakun, the Japanese and all of here in Japan keep getting screwed royally by this closed, unfair market. One more example, last year Mexican limes were about 100 yen for 1 crappy , dry no good smelling lime, at that time the yen was about 90 or 100 yen to 1 USD and now?? these same crappy limes that could not be sold in Mexico, they are too big, too dry and have no incredible aroma are selling for?? 150 yen in some local super markets for 1 lime from old Mexico! Somebody is making a killing!! Maybe I should sell limes here in Tokyo??

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I will chime in and say that the price of imported guitars and guitar effects from China and the USA have also not dropped in price. Prices for imported goods often do not reflect the yen, but what the market conditions of supply/demand dictate.

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I am laughing all the way to the bank; just transferred a huge amount of yen to the UK at 119yen to the GBP, which has allowed me to do a hell of a lot of things in the last 24 hours to secure my future securities.

For those thinking about staying long term in Japan; don't.

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Slowdown in overseas products exports may be a problem for sometime to come. Austerity measures accross most of the euro currency countries are biting us pretty hard. Luxury goods ie computers T,V,s new cars , people are making do with what they allready have. In regards to Japans energy needs if they invest in eco energy now ie wind, solar, tidal ,hydro ,they may well be saving trillions of yen in the future if they invest in these systems now. Itdoesnt help that Japanese firms are removing industrial production to other countries, in doing so they add to redundanceis in Japan

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Japanese firms are opening factories in other nations, not removing the current industrial production. Get your facts straight.

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It takes around 77 billion yen to make a billion USD, so you Japan bashers need to quit acting like the world is coming to an end.

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http/www.reference for business, multinational corporations stratergy, submitted by Grant J Eldridge, revised by Rhoda L Wilburn

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The US and Eurozone are doomed, not Japan.

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