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China passes US as top Japanese export buyer, topping 20%

Cars and cardboard drive gains, even as some companies warn on overreliance

A container ship sits at a port in Shenzhen. Last year, China replaced the U.S. as Japan's largest trading partner.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- China consumed more than 20% of Japanese exports for the first time last year, driven largely by its ability to shake off the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on its economy quicker than other major trading partners.

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