Japan’s exports fell in June at the slowest pace this year as demand picked up worldwide, helping the trade surplus widen for the first time in 20 months and setting the stage for an economic recovery.Shipments abroad declined 35.7 percent from a year earlier, after dropping 40.9 percent in May, the Finance Ministry said today in Tokyo. The surplus widened to 508 billion yen ($5.4 billion).
Faster growth in China is propping up sales for Japanese manufacturers including Komatsu Ltd. and Nissan Motor Co. The recovery in shipments from the record collapse spurred by the financial crisis probably helped the economy grow for the first time in more than a year last quarter.“There’s no doubt China has been a driving force for Japan’s exports,” said Masamichi Adachi, senior economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Tokyo. “Manufacturers will probably continue to increase production amid the improvement in exports, and that’s good for the economic outlook.”
Indeed. Once one gets over the absurd collapse which makes me question the "setting the stage for an economic recovery", it does become clear that things would be MUCH worse if China had not shown relative strength (and now account for ~20% of all Japanese exports).
Source: Trade Stats of Japan