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Japan's current-account surplus undergoing seismic shift

Intellectual property revenue up fivefold in a decade to 2.4tn yen surplus

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Workers inspect cars at a Honda manufacturing plant in Ontario, Canada, in 2015.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan has maintained a current-account surplus for many years, but its trade profile is undergoing a profound change as its goods trade has receded while revenue from intellectual property has grown.

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