The Finance Ministry’s provisional numbers showed Japan’s imports in July fell 22.3 percent.
Exports to the U.S. especially suffered, declining 19.5 percent last month. They include plastic goods, iron and steel and computer parts. But Japan recorded its first trade surplus in four months on the back of a recovery in China.
Japan’s export-reliant economy has been ailing since the outbreak caused some plant production to be temporarily halted, squelched tourism and generally hurt economic activity.
Japan has never imposed a lockdown but has encouraged people to work from home, wear masks and social distance. Some stores have closed or shortened their hours.
Japan has had about 1,100 confirmed COVID-19 deaths among 57,636 cases. Worries are growing over a recent surge in infection, especially in Tokyo and other urban areas.
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