Japan's trade deficit in fiscal 2015 through March plunged 88.2 percent from a year earlier to 1.08 trillion ( 9.9 billion), helped largely by a fall in the cost of crude oil imports, the government said Wednesday. The value of exports fell 0.7 percent for the first decline in three years to 74.12 trillion, while that of imports dropped 10.3 percent to 75.20 trillion, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report. The value of crude oil imports plunged 37.9 percent as average oil prices dropped 45.2 percent from the previous year to 48.90 per barrel. Import values of liquefied natural gas decreased 41.4 percent. Crude oil prices have a major impact on the nation's trade balance as the country relies heavily on energy imports, especially after the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, with most of the country's commercial nuclear reactors remaining offline amid heightened public concern about their safety.
SHANGHAI - China will restrict imports of scrap steel and aluminum from July 1, the environment ministry said on Saturday. Scrap steel and aluminum would be moved from an unrestricted import list of solid waste products that are usable as raw materials to a restricted import list, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said in a statement. Relevant departments were researching the formulation of standards for recycled copper and aluminum, it said. Copper and aluminum raw materials meeting relevant national standards would not be considered solid waste, and can be imported as regular goods, it said. China's imports of solid waste fell more than half between January and mid-November compared with the same period a year earlier, as the country tightened a ban on solid waste imports.
TAIPEI – Taiwan authorities said Wednesday that Japanese ¥100 shop chain Daiso has been fined 41.64 million New Taiwan dollars ($1.38 million) for falsifying import application documents and banned from importing goods from Japan for two years. Foreign Trade Bureau deputy chief Lee Guann-jyh told a legislative committee that the punishments have been meted out to Hiroshima-based Daiso Industries Co., which has been operating in Taiwan since 2001 and has about 60 stories here. In November 2015, Daiso received a six-month import ban for having illegally imported food products from parts of Japan affected by 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster between July 2014 and March 2015, and selling them with falsified labels of origin. During that six-month period, Daiso could still import goods from Japan on a case-by-case basis after obtaining permission from the bureau. But in doing so, it falsified the dates of the imported goods, altering them to predate the six-month ban period that began in November 2015.