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S. Korea's trade with Japan down for 3 straight years in 2014

South Korea's trade with Japan declined for the third straight year in 2014, affected by the falling Japanese yen, which hurt Korean products' price competitiveness there and led to less demand, a report showed Wednesday.

According to the report by the Korea International Trade Association, the bilateral trade between South Korea and Japan came to $85.95 billion last year, down 9.2 percent from a year earlier.

Last year, South Korea's exports to Japan fell 7.2 percent on-year to $32.18 billion, with its imports from the country also shrinking 10.4 percent to $53.77 billion.

This represents the third consecutive year that the bilateral trade volume dropped since it peaked at $108 billion in 2011. It also marked the lowest level since 2009, when it was about $72 billion.

During the first two months of this year, preliminary data showed that their bilateral trade also shrank 13.6 percent on-year to $10.04 billion.

The decline is attributable to the falling value of the Japanese yen, which hurt South Koran products' price competitiveness in Japan and resulted in less demand.

Another factor behind the downward trend is less demand for imports in Japan as companies there are pushing to reduce their local production facilities and expanding overseas investment.

"The falling yen is a main factor behind the shrinking trade with Japan. This downward trend is likely to continue as the current situation, including the weak yen, is to stay for some time," a KITA official said. (Yonhap)