Japan posts a trade deficit as exports fall
22 October 2012 Last updated at 03:57 BST
Exports from Japan fell more than expected in September, as sales to China and Europe dropped and demand at home, led by rebuilding from last year's earthquake lost momentum.
The Ministry of Finance in Tokyo revealed exports fell 10.3% in September, from a year earlier.
They were down for a fourth consecutive month, raising fears that Japan could slide back into recession.
The BBC's correspondent in Tokyo, Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, explains that Japanese exports to China have fallen amid a territorial dispute, over islands in the East China Sea.