Japan's international trade performance dipped once again in January, with an overall decline of nearly 13 per cent in the value of overseas shipments.
The country's exports fell for a fourth consecutive month during January, with the overall performance being the worst since 2009. Imports also dropped by 18 per cent, leaving a 645.9 billion yen (£3.99 billion) trade deficit.
Poor sentiments have persisted across Japan, with wage gains stagnating, consumer prices are rising at a sluggish pace and households showing a reluctance about spending.
The slowdown in China, Japan's largest trading partner, has also had a serious impact on the country's economy, with exports from Japan to China sinking by 18 per cent during January. It means shipments to the nation have now dropped for six straight months.
Yasunari Ueno, chief market economist at Mizuho Securities, said: "The environment for Japanese exports is looking bad as Japanese companies shift production abroad, the global economy slows and the yen strengthens."