TOKYO (AP) -- Japan recorded a trade deficit of 777.5 billion yen ($8.1 billion) in February despite the weaker yen as exports of cars and auto parts slipped while imports surged nearly 12 percent.
It was the eighth consecutive monthly deficit following a record monthly deficit of 1.63 trillion yen in January.
The Finance Ministry reported Thursday that exports in February totaled 5.28 trillion yen ($55.1 billion) while imports surged to 6.06 trillion yen ($63.2 billion) on rising purchases of LNG and oil.
Japan's exports to China plunged 15.8 percent to 842.3 billion yen ($8.8 billion) due partly to the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday. Imports from China jumped 22 percent to 1.12 trillion yen ($11.7 billion).
Exports to crisis-stricken Europe fell 9.6 percent, but those to the U.S. rose 5.7 percent.
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