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Changes in the Environment Surrounding Japan's Exports

: An Approach Focusing on Global Trade Volume and Export Share

April 28, 2015
Yoshiyuki Kurachi, Masatoshi Ando, Kanako Shoji*
Research and Statistics Department

  • Currently at the Kobe branch

Japan's exports have lacked momentum since the Lehman shock. In this paper, we examine export trends for the period by breaking them down into "global trade volume" and "Japan's share." This analysis finds: (1) in addition to sluggish growth for global trading activities, (2) there has been a secular decline in competitiveness in IT-related fields, (3) global fixed investment demand has been weak, and (4) overseas production has accelerated, accompanied by increases in local procurement, particularly in the automobile sector. These factors including structural ones have interacted with each other and depressed exports with other changes. It should be noted, however, that at the current point in time global trade volume is enjoying moderate growth, and the environment surrounding Japan's exports is gradually improving, specifically, (1) global demand for capital goods has turned upwards, particularly in the United States, and (2) the depreciation of the yen that began at the end of 2012 has improved price competitiveness in various fields including IT-related sectors. In this situation, Japan's exports are picking up.


Bank of Japan Review is published by the Bank of Japan to explain recent economic and financial topics for a wide range of readers. This report, 2015-E-5, is a translation of the original Japanese version, 2015-J-6, published in March 2015. The views expressed in the Review are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the Bank of Japan.

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