China-Japan trade falls in 2012 for first time in three years amidst island row
China's trade with Japan fell 3.9 percent in 2012 to 329 billion dollars, the first drop in three years, the General Administration of Customs has said. The drop reflects that Chinese consumer have boycotted Japanese goods sparked by a territorial row, which led to an 8.6 percent fall in imports from Japan last year.
According to the Japan Times, Japan fell from being China's fourth-largest trading partner to its fifth.
The last time the bilateral trade figure declined was 2009, a year after the September 2008 collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers triggered a global financial crisis.
The consumer boycott was sparked by the Japanese Government's move in September to effectively nationalize the Senkaku Islands, which Japan has long controlled, but also claimed by China.
Meanwhile, the same data showed that China's overall export growth more than quadrupled from the previous month to 14.1 percent, while imports, which failed to grow at all in November, rose 6 percent in a sign of increasing domestic demand, the report said.
The trade figures add to evidence China is gradually emerging from its worst economic downturn since the 2008 global crisis, it added.