Shipments to the US, one of Japan’s largest markets, fell 2.8 per cent from a year earlier to 1.01 trillion yen for the first drop in 17 months, the Finance Ministry said.
Exports to other Asian countries, including China, declined 3.4 per cent for the first decrease in 15 months, the ministry said. Japan’s shipments to Asia accounted for 55 per cent of its total exports in May.
Shipments to China, Japan’s biggest trading partner, edged up 0.4 per cent to 1.05 trillion yen.
Overall imports were also down 3.6 per cent to 6.52 trillion yen for the first drop in 19 months after a sales-tax hike at the start of April, the ministry said.
Japan logged a 909-billion-yen deficit, marking the 23rd straight month of trade shortfall.