Japan's shipments to Asia and the United States fell sharply in April, contributing to a 10.1-per-cent decrease in overall exports, the Japanese government said Monday.
The year-on-year decline, down to 5.9 trillion yen (53.6 billion dollars), is the largest drop in three months and the seventh consecutive month of fall, Japan's Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report.
Japan's exports to Asia including China dropped 11.1 per cent from a year earlier to 3.07 trillion yen, but still accounted for about half of total exports that month, the ministry said.
Shipments to China, Japan's largest trading partner, slipped 7.1 per cent, while exports to the United States fell 11.8 per cent.
The value of Japan's overall imports plunged meanwhile by 23.3 per cent to 5.07 trillion yen due mainly to falling oil prices and slumping domestic consumption.
Japan has imported more petroleum and liquefied natural gas for power generation since the country's worst nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in 2011.
The accident caused operators to shut down their nuclear reactors amid public fears of atomic energy. However, declining global energy prices contributed to falls in import figures.