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Japan surprises with trade surplus as US demand picks up

Japan has logged a surprise trade surplus in January as US-bound exports picked up for the first time in more than two years on robust demand for cars.

Japan posted a surplus of JPY85.2 billion (USD957 million), beating a deficit of some JPY145 billion the market had expected and reversing a record deficit of JPY956 billion a year ago.

It is the 12th consecutive month that Japan has posted a trade surplus, according to data from the Finance Ministry.