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Japan logs record Aug trade deficit on weak yen, costly oil

September 15, 2022 GMT
FILE - A national flag flies near a container port on Jan. 20, 2022, in Tokyo. Japan posted a record trade deficit in August as costs for imports of oil and gas soared, the government reported Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)
FILE - A national flag flies near a container port on Jan. 20, 2022, in Tokyo. Japan posted a record trade deficit in August as costs for imports of oil and gas soared, the government reported Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)
FILE - A national flag flies near a container port on Jan. 20, 2022, in Tokyo. Japan posted a record trade deficit in August as costs for imports of oil and gas soared, the government reported Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)
FILE - A national flag flies near a container port on Jan. 20, 2022, in Tokyo. Japan posted a record trade deficit in August as costs for imports of oil and gas soared, the government reported Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)
FILE - A national flag flies near a container port on Jan. 20, 2022, in Tokyo. Japan posted a record trade deficit in August as costs for imports of oil and gas soared, the government reported Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

TOKYO (AP) — Japan posted a record trade deficit in August as costs for imports of oil and gas soared, the government reported Thursday.

The 2.82 trillion yen ($19.6 billion) deficit, the 13th in a row, was triple the deficit logged in the same month a year earlier.

Customs-data showed exports rose 22% from a year earlier as regional economies recovered from pandemic-related disruptions while imports soared 50%.

Energy-related imports from the Middle East accounted for about half of the deficit.

Japan’s currency, the yen, has weakened sharply against the U.S. dollar as the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates to counter inflation. Surging prices for many commodities and other products are also pushing Japan’s imports higher.