TOKYO (AP) -- Japan says it recorded the biggest trade deficit on record for the six months ending in June, largely because fuel imports soared after last year's nuclear disaster.
The Ministry of Finance on Wednesday reported a 2.9 trillion yen ($37.4 billion) trade deficit for the first half. Exports dipped 2.5 percent from last year and imports surged 13.1 percent.
The latest trade deficit is the biggest since Japan started compiling such records in 1979.
Until this month, all 50 of Japan's working nuclear reactors were offline in the aftermath of the nuclear crisis set off in March 2011 by a massive earthquake and tsunami. Two reactors are back online but the country still must rely more on oil and gas to supply electricity.
Europe's economic slowdown, meanwhile, has crimped exports.