Japan's trade deficit swelled to a record $109 billion in 2014, official data showed Monday, weighed down by post-Fukushima disaster energy bills.
The shortfall of 12,781 billion yen ($109 billion) was up 11.4 percent from the 2013 deficit and the worst since records began in 1979, according to the finance ministry.
In December alone, however, the deficit almost halved from the same month a year before to 660.7 billion yen, thanks to lower oil prices.
In 2014, imports rose 5.7 percent to a record 85.89 trillion yen reflecting increased imports of liquefied natural gas and electric parts, outstripping the 4.8 percent jump in exports to 73.11 trillion yen.
The fall in oil prices contributed to the modest upswing in the value of imports -- up 1.9 percent on the year earlier at 7.56 trillion yen, while exports surged 12.9 percent for the month to 6.90 trillion yen.