China overtook the US as Japan’s largest export market for the first time in July, the Financial Times reported. Japan’s exports to China rose 16.8% year-on-year – the highest level since Tokyo began tracking the statistic – while shipments to the US fell 11.5%, a report from Japan’s Finance Ministry said. Overall, Japanese exports climbed 8.1% in the month. As the US economic slowdown intensifies, Japanese companies, including Honda and Komatsu, increasingly look to China for growth. Honda, for example, announced double-digit increases in its China sales in the three months to June, compared with a 5% fall in the US. However, Kyohei Morita, chief economist at Barclays Capital in Tokyo, noted that Japanese exports to China might decelerate given the expected slowdown in Chinese growth and the country’s increasing dependence on the EU as a source of goods.
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