Japan posted a positive trade balance for nine out of 12 months in the 2016-2017 financial year, according to government statistics. Imports of fossil fuels, including crude oil and LNG, soared after the nation’s nuclear power plants were idled in 2011. This tipped the country into a negative balance of payments. The collapse in oil prices in 2014-2015 helped reduce the cost of imports, and since early 2016 the country has posted regular positive trade balances.
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