Prolonged low oil prices unlikely to be Tailwind for Japan
Jiji Press -- Jan 14
Cheap oil basically benefits Japan, which primarily relies on imports for natural resources.

Falls in crude oil prices since late 2014 have been particularly helpful for the country, which boosted imports of fuel for thermal power generation in the wake of the nuclear accident caused by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Japan fell into a customs-cleared trade deficit in the April-September first half of fiscal 2011, following the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s <9501> disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. It has since remained in the red for nine half-year periods in a row.

But thanks to cheaper crude oil, the country's trade deficit in the first half of fiscal 2015 was the smallest since the disaster. On a monthly basis, the deficit last November shrank nearly 60 pct from a year earlier.

Cheaper oil has also prompted regional power and gas utilities in the country to cut their rates. Lower power and gas bills are expected to help boost household spending on other items, with positive effects for the economy.

News source: Jiji Press
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