Japan posts trade surplus in Dec on cheaper oil, strong yen

Japan's Finance Ministry reports the country posted a trade deficit of 2.83 trillion yen ($24 billion) in 2015, as imports dropped thanks to the collapse in oil prices.

The preliminary figures reported Monday show exports rose 3.5 percent in 2015 from the year before, while imports dropped 8.7 percent. The deficit compared with a record 12.8 trillion yen deficit in 2014.

Japan's trade balance swung to a surplus in December, as oil prices tumbled and the yen gained against other currencies.

The December trade surplus of 140.2 billion yen ($1.2 billion) compared with a deficit of 379.7 billion yen in November and a deficit of 665.6 billion yen in December 2014.

Japan slipped into deficits after the 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima led to sharply higher oil and gas imports.