China Beats U.S. As Leading Importer To Japan

By Agence France-Presse China overtook the United States as the leading source of imports to Japan for the first time since the end of World War II, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) said in an annual report released Aug. 11. In 2002 Japan imported US$61.7 billion worth of products from China, compared with U.S. imports to Japan worth $57.6 billion, according to the report. "For Japan, China has become the top manufacturer of IT products, surpassing the United States," JETRO said. Additionally, China was also Japan's second biggest export market after the United States. U.S.-bound exports from Japan were worth $118.5 billion dollars in 2002, while Japan exported $39.9 billion worth of goods to China. The booming trade with China played a significant role in the rebound in Japanese exports, which rose 2.6% to $415.9 billion on a customs-cleared basis in 2002, the report said. "In terms of volume, both exports and imports saw positive growth from the previous year for the first time in two years. Trade with Asia, China in particular, contributed greatly to this growth," JETRO said. Global economic and trading activity gradually recovered in 2002, supported by the recovery of the East Asian economy in particular. Total global trading activity in 2002 grew 4.1% to $6.36 trillion, according to JETRO. "The East Asian economy recovered, after slumping due to the IT recession, and helped expand global trading activity in 2002," JETRO said. "Old" economy sectors, such as automotive, steel, and chemical products, one again became the engine of global trade. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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