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Japan's weak digital industry drives sectoral trade deficit

Digital services imports exceeded exports by $35.9bn in 2022

Japan's "digital deficit" in 2022 amounted to $35.9 billion, which was 90% higher than five years ago.

TOKYO -- Payments for imported information technology services by Japanese companies and individuals are rapidly swelling, as the domestic industry struggles to compete, pushing Japan's digital trade deficit higher.

According to Finance Ministry data released Wednesday, Japan's current account surplus for 2022 stood at 11.4 trillion yen ($125.2 billion) overall, down 47% from the previous year. High prices for raw materials led to a 42% increase in imports compared with the previous year and resulted in a record trade deficit of 15.8 trillion yen.

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