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Russian-Japanese trade down 24% in 2016

January 25, 9:43 UTC+3 TOKYO

Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko attributes the decline in bilateral trade to the drop in oil prices, ruble’s devaluation and problems in the Russian economy

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TOKYO, January 25. /TASS/. The trade turnover between Russia and Japan in 2016 totaled less than $16.4 bln, a 24% decrease compared with the previous year, according to the data published by Japan’s Finance Ministry on Wednesday.

Japan’s export to Russia in 2016 was estimated at $5.09 bln, just slightly shrinking compared with the figure a year ago. However, the import from Russia fell below $11.3 bln, showing a 28% decrease. The trade balance is still in Russia’s favor.

The export from Japan to Russia has been decreasing over the past three years and last year the import from Russia fell for the first time.

In an interview with TASS in December, Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko voiced concerns over the decline in bilateral trade linking this to the drop in oil prices, the ruble’s devaluation and problems in the Russian economy. However, regardless of these difficulties, Russia remains at the "forefront of prospects" for Japanese business, the minister said. Japanese-Russian contacts "have big prospects," he stressed.

Teruo Asada, who heads the Japanese-Russian Economic Committee at the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), said the situation in trade could be rectified. In an interview with TASS he voiced hope that "the business climate in Russia will improve."

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