Quake prompts Japanese deficit

Japan logged an annual trade deficit in 2011 for the first time in 31 years, Ministry of Finance data showed yesterday, as last year’s earthquake and tsunami, weak global demand and a strong yen battered exports. The trade deficit stood at 2.49 trillion yen (£20.5bn) in 2011, the first annual deficit since 1980. In December, Japan's exports fell eight per cent from a year earlier, down for a third straight month. Imports rose 8.1 per cent in December from a year earlier.