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Japan's May trade deficit jumps on soaring energy costs

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© 2012 AFP

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This is the direct effect of not having nuclear reactors up and running the economy. People should consider this when protesting about their use.

Until VIABLE alternative sources of energy are available and ON LINE the overall Japanese economy is going to continue to suffer because of it.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

This is the direct effect of not having nuclear reactors up and running the economy. People should consider this when protesting about their use.

The shut down happened because of the nuclear disaster and the government's requirement for the reactor stress tests and safety improvements. Now procedures must be followed. The reactor situation will take many months to solve, technically and politically?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Now where are all those voices calling for the weakening of the Yen?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Them's the facts. The increased oil and gas imports to maintain electricity supply as replacement for nuclear generation are sinking the economy.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

VIABLE alternative sources of energy are available and waiting to be used. They have been around for decades. There is just not the political will to forge ahead with them. They have just sat on their hands waiting to see what happens for the past 15 months. Once the reactors are up and running again, alternative energy sources will be put on the back burner (as always). The politicians simply see that there is just too much money to be made from chumming with the nuke industry. The Japanese economy is going to continue to suffer forever because of THIS narrowmindedness and short sightedness.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The cost of the additional energy imports because of the lack of nuclear will be much less than the total cost of the nuclear disaster.

Whatever happens, the cost of the monthly power bills will rise.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yubaru- This is a direct result of Japan being ignorant to how easily everything can turn to mud when you place all your eggs into a paper bag. The Japanese should never have relied on nuclear energy nor should they have ignored all the safety warnings and this is the result of such ignorance. Furthermore, Japan can expect this trend to continue and to get worse over the coming months with higher demands for energy through the summer months. Nuclear energy is like the little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead. When it is good it is very good, but when it is bad it is horrid!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

go ahead keep listening to the ameicans and ull soon follow their doom. o u can just print more yen

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Sorry, but I don't buy energy prices as the sole reason (or even the main reason). The discrepancy is simply too large, 900 billion vs. 500 billion. This is just another "not Japan's fault" excuse.

When is Japan going to face the facts that the world is starting to find other products to buy besides Japanese? When Europe (a huge customer) crumbles in the not too distant future, it's only going to get worse. Making excuses doesn't help anybody.

The future for Japan is just as bleak as the rest of the world. Stop kidding yourselves.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The trade deficit is not caused by high oil prices.

The trade deficit is occurring because the yen is strong, while the dollar and euro are weak. It's a great time for Japan to import a lot of stuff, so they have. Buying stuff while it's "on sale" is a good idea.

The strong yen, meanwhile, has made Japanese goods more expensive in other countries, so it isn't exporting very much at all. This is the part to worry about.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

just out of curiosity, does Japan buy its oil using US dollars?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

just out of curiosity, does Japan buy its oil using US dollars?

Oil is still denominated in dollars, I believe, though some countries would like to change that. Japan converts yen to dollars to buy oil.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Exports rose 10% in May from a year earlier, boosted by a 38% jump in deliveries to the US.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Disillusioned - "The Japanese should never have relied on nuclear energy..."

So what do you think they should have relied on?

Realistically.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm not sure that anyone could reasonably argue, after 3/11, that nuclear energy is a prudent choice for Japan in the long-term. However, they NEED at least some power generated from the idled reactors to sustain the industries that in turn power the economy and drive the movement toward alternative energy sources.

People should try to understand that if you have leukemia, you don't stop your heart to fix the problem. You keep the blood flowing, because your body needs it, while you look for a cure.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

FarmboyJun. 20, 2012 - 12:42PM JST

The trade deficit is not caused by high oil prices. The trade deficit is occurring because the yen is strong,

Stick to farming.

It's not the price of oil that has caused the deficit, but the quantity of oil that has to be imported since the nuclear reactors, which used to supply 30% of japan;s energy needs, have been turned off. If the Yen were weaker to the dollar, the deficit would be larger because the oil would be more expensive to buy.

12 months ago the Yen was weaker, but exports were lower. The Yen has strengthed and exports have increased. You do the science, but what it is stating is that the value of the Yen is a weak variable on Japanese exports.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

So what do you think they should have relied on?

They should have stayed with fossil fuels until they developed the technology for alternative energy sources.If they had spent half as much time and money developing geothermal energy their economy would not be in the crapper. They chose nuclear energy over geothermal because most of the easily accessed geothermal sources are in national parks. However, the nuclear disaster has laid a vast swath of land unusable for possibly eternity and has displaced over 100,000 people. Losing a bit of national park land is a lot less expensive, don't you think? The technology for sustainable geothermal energy has existed for over 50 years. Just imagine how much better it would be now if they had invested in it way back when they decided to use nuclear energy.

Japan was warned many times about the safety of their nuclear power plants and many recommendations were made, including waterproof switches and getting their back-up generators off the ground, but they ignored these recommendations and now we are paying the price for their belligerent ignorance.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The costs of nuclear energy are set to increase with the costs of the nuclear disaster, cost of atomc plant safety improvements and by 2030 will cost more than renewable energy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan is now a new leader in a safe solar , geo thermal future.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dog,

If the Yen were weaker to the dollar, the deficit would be larger because the oil would be more expensive to buy

I don't disagree with this, but:

Imports jumped 9.3% to 6.14 trillion yen from a year earlier, largely due to rising purchases of foreign oil and gas....

Exports, meanwhile, rose 10% to 5.23 trillion yen as shipments of automobiles and auto parts soared.

This means the cause of the larger deficit was something other than the rise in cost of foreign oil and gas purchases, whether it's the price or the quantity. The article suggests the weaker buying from Europe is a cause, ("first-ever monthly trade deficit with the European Union since records started in 1979") and I think the strong yen hasn't helped that situation.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tried Atomic power, didn't work out so good? Ignored other energy sources, the kick backs not so good anyway. Guess we have to pay more, and companies have to charge more..kick backs are ok. Turn on a light and someone gets mail.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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