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Japan logs 4th straight trade deficit in Oct.

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan has reported a 549 billion yen ($6.7 billion) trade deficit for October as the European debt crisis and strained business ties with China over a territorial dispute reduced exports.

It was the fourth straight monthly trade deficit, when imports exceed exports, trade data showed. This year, only February and June have logged trade surpluses.

The Ministry of Finance said Wednesday that exports during the month fell 6.5 percent to 5.150 trillion yen, while imports slipped 1.6 percent to 5.699 trillion yen.

Exports to Western Europe plunged 23.5 percent to 527 billion yen, while exports to China dropped 11.6 percent to 948 billion yen, ministry statistics showed.