The world's third-largest economy has reported its first trade deficit, in 31 years. Analysts attribute the result to last year's March disasters, a strong local currency and increasingly expensive energy costs. Wang Yiqian takes a look at what this all means, for Japan's export-reliant economy.
Data from Japan's Finance Ministry shows, the nation's trade deficit for 2011 stands at 2.49 trillion yen, or about 32 billion U.S. dollars. That's the result of increasing imports, and falling exports. Meanwhile, December also marks the third straight monthly deficit.