TOKYO (AP) - Japan's trade deficit rose to a record $83.4 billion in the fiscal year that ended in March, as exports faltered and costs for imported gas and crude oil rose.
Customs figures released Thursday also showed a deficit for March, the ninth monthly deficit in a row, of 362.4 billion yen ($3.7 billion), down from February's gap of 779.5 billion yen.
Exports fell 2.1 percent in the fiscal year from the year before, to 63.9 trillion yen ($652.4 billion) while imports rose 3.4 percent to 72.1 trillion yen ($735.8 billion). The deficit of 8.17 trillion yen ($83.4 billion) was up 84 percent from the previous fiscal year's 4.4 trillion yen ($45.1) shortfall.
A sharp depreciation in Japan's currency since late 2012 has failed to fully offset weak demand for Japan's exports.