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Figures show large drop in exports

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Hundreds of Japanese vehicles parked before being loaded on a freighter in Yokohama near Tokyo, Japan

Hundreds of Japanese vehicles parked before being loaded on a freighter in Yokohama near Tokyo, Japan

Hundreds of Japanese vehicles parked before being loaded on a freighter in Yokohama near Tokyo, Japan

Japan's government has revealed exports in May dropped 10.3% from a year earlier.

The finance ministry said that exports shrank to 4.76 trillion yen (£4 billion) in the month.

Imports in May rose 12.3% to 5.61 trillion yen, resulting in a trade deficit of 85 billion yen.

Car exports in May plunged 38.9% and shipments of car parts dropped 18.5% due to production losses following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northern Japan.

The twin disasters left more than 23,000 people dead or missing and destroyed hundreds of factories in Japan's north eastern coastal region, forcing manufacturers such as Toyota and Sony to suspend production.

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