TOKYO (Reuters) - Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Thursday it would be a problem if Japan continues to run a huge trade deficit due to rising energy costs.
Japan is now importing more oil and gas to make up for energy shortfalls after the shutdown of nuclear power plants due to the March 2011 earthquake, Aso (Taiwan OTC: 8443.TWO - news) said in parliament.
"Import prices are rising sharply and as a result Japan is running a huge trade deficit. If this continues, it would be a big problem for Japan," Aso said in response to a question by a lawmaker on whether the yen's recent falls are becoming more problematic than beneficial for Japan by boosting the cost of fuel imports.
Aso declined to comment directly on recent yen declines.
(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Shinichi Saoshiro)