Japan's exports declined in March as shipments to China dropped more than 9%, pulling the nation's trade surplus sharply lower.
The data released Wednesday by the Finance Ministry was more or less in line with forecasts.
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It said total exports for the world's 3rd largest economy fell 2.4% from a year earlier while imports rose 1%.
Exports to the U.S., Japan's biggest single overseas market, rose slightly while imports fell, increasing the politically sensitive trade surplus by nearly 10%.
The report came as Japan and the U.S. finished launching trade talks aimed at clinching an agreement aimed at redressing that imbalance, which totaled $67.6 billion in 2018 according to U.S. figures.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer's office said he and Japan's trade minister Toshimitsu Motegi agreed to continue talks soon.