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Japan’s imports and exports

International trade contributes significantly to the Japanese economy, with exports equivalent to approximately 16 per cent of GDP. Key exports include vehicles, machinery and manufactured goods. In 2015-16, Japan’s major export destinations were the United States (20.2 per cent), China (17.5 per cent) and Republic of Korea (7 per cent).

Despite a weaker yen as a result of stimulatory economic initiatives, export growth remains sluggish. Japan has few natural resources and its agricultural sector remains heavily protected. Japan’s main imports include mineral fuels, machinery and food. In 2015, leading suppliers of these goods were China (25.6 per cent), the United States (10.9 per cent) and Australia (5.6 per cent).

Japan is still Australia’s second-largest trading partner and export market, and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Two-way goods and services trade between Australia and Japan was valued at AUD 60.3 billion in 2015-16.

Goods exports to Japan stood at AUD 35.8 billion, representing approximately 15 per cent of Australia’s total goods exports. In 2015-16, Australia’s major exports to Japan included LNG (approximately AUD 16 billion), coal (AUD 11.2 billion), iron ore (AUD 4.7 billion), beef (AUD 1.8 billion), and copper ores and concentrates (AUD 1.4 billion). Japan was Australia’s largest export market for beef, fish, fruit and vegetable juices, animal feed, coal, liquefied propane and butane, aluminium, transmission shafts, dairy products and natural gas. On the other side of the ledger,

Japan was Australia’s thirdlargest source of imports in 2015-16. Major imports from Japan included passenger vehicles (AUD 6.6 billion), refined petroleum (AUD 2.6 billion) and goods vehicles (AUD 1.4 billion).

Total bilateral trade in services over 2015-16 was valued at about AUD 5.2 billion, mostly in the recreational travel, transport and education sectors. Australia’s services exports to Japan were worth AUD 2.1 billion and services imports were valued at AUD 3.1 billion.