China’s trade with Japan fell 5.1 percent in 2013 from the previous year to $312.5 billion, down for the second straight year, the General Administration of Customs said Friday.
The decline exceeded the 3.9 percent contraction recorded in 2012 and reflects the lingering effects of a bilateral territorial row over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.
China’s trade with Japan in 2012 fell for the first time in three years owing to a consumer boycott sparked by the Japanese government’s decision in September that year to place the China-claimed Senkaku Islands under state control by purchasing three of the islands from a private Japanese owner.
The figures released Friday also show that China’s overall foreign trade in 2013 grew 7.6 percent from the previous year — up from 2012’s 6.2 percent growth and putting into sharp relief the trade contraction with Japan.
The total value of China’s exports and imports for the reporting year reached $4.16 trillion, topping the $4 trillion mark for the first time. Exports rose 7.9 percent from the previous year to $2.21 trillion in 2013, while imports increased 7.3 percent to $1.95 trillion.
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