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Japan April trade deficit halves, imports fall for 1st time in 2 yrs

May 19 (Kyodo) - Japan's trade deficit nearly halved to a one-year low of 432.41 billion yen ($3 billion) in April, as imports dropped for the first time in 27 months on lower crude oil prices, while U.S.-bound auto shipments delivered record exports, the Finance Ministry said Thursday.

Surging energy imports kept resource-poor Japan deeply in the red, with a weaker yen inflating their value. For April, total imports fell 2.3 percent to 8.72 trillion yen, dragged down by crude oil and liquefied natural gas.

Exports, meanwhile, gained 2.6 percent to 8.29 trillion yen, the largest-ever for April. The increase came despite growing concerns about slowdowns in the U.S. and European economies. ...continue reading

Source: ANNnewsCH

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The long-standing seniority-based system in Japanese companies is being phased out. Many have considered it natural to rise with age, but there have been times when people desired recognition based on ability. With this deeply ingrained system now under review, will the decision by a major bank change Japan's corporate culture?

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