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Japan Trade Surplus Soars in June

July 8, 1998

TOKYO (AP) _ Japan’s trade surplus soared in the first 20 days of June to 718.57 billion yen ($5.18 billion), up 60.4 percent over the same period last year.

Exports rose 4.8 percent from last year on higher exports of cars and film equipment, and imports dropped 6.4 percent on decreased imports of crude oil, wood, electric parts and semiconductors, the Finance Ministry reported Wednesday.

The figures were reported before adjustment for seasonal factors.

In May, the last full month for which statistics are available, the trade surplus rocketed to 1.219 trillion yen ($9.03 billion), up 66.6 percent from the same month last year.

Demand for foreign products has remained weak amid Japan’s economic slowdown, while the weak yen against the U.S. dollar has made Japanese exports cheaper in the United States.

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