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Japan to report first trade deficit since 1980 following Fukushima disaster

Official figures expected to show deficit due to energy imports to cover loss of power after nuclear plant catastophe

Japan is expected to announce its first trade deficit since 1980. For decades the country has used an export policy to build up brand names such as Toyota, Sony and Canon, but official trade figures are expected to show a deficit caused by energy imports to cover the loss of nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster. Economists say Japan’s trade will be in deficit for the next few years as it copes with the catastrophe that has forced most nuclear power stations to close. Japan’s central bank said it expected the economy to shrink by 0.4% in the year to March, instead of expanding as forecast.

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