Japan on Thursday logged a record trade deficit for 2012 as exports were hit by a bitter diplomatic spat with its biggest market China and plunging demand in debt-wracked Europe.
Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso speaks at a press conference in Tokyo, on Janaury 15, 2013. Japan logged a $7.2 billion trade deficit in December, bringing the total trade gap to a record $78 billion for 2012, official data showed on Thursday.
The gloomy numbers spell more bad news for the world's third-largest economy as it struggles to cement a recovery after the 2011 quake-tsunami -- the worst nuclear crisis in a generation -- and the impact of an export-sapping strong yen.
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