Shinzo Abe

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Provides an overview of Japan, including key events and facts about this earthquake-prone country on the western rim of the Pacific.

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US-China trade tensions weigh on Japan

Shinzo Abe
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As Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (pictured) prepares to address delegates at the World Economic Forum in Davos, all is not well at home.

New data has revealed that Japan showed an annual trade deficit for the first time since 2015, fuelled by the trade row between China and the US.

Exports to China rose by 6.8%, compared to a 20.5% increase in 2017.

Exports to the US slowed to 2.3% from 6.9%.

The deficit reached 1,203 billion yen (£8.49bn).

Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute, says: "US-bound exports were not strong but still solid, whereas shipments to Asia, notably to China, slowed down.

"US-China trade tensions should be blamed for that."

Merkel and Abe among speakers at Davos

Shinzo Abe and Angela Merkel
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The big names are out in force today at World Economic Forum in Davos.

This morning Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will give an address.

It will be followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel who will speak at 2.15pm.

At 3.00pm, Wang Qishan, vice president of the People's Republic of China will give a special address.

After that there is a session on the Strategic Outlook for Europe, with panelists including Pierre Moscovici, EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs.

And in the evening Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain, will give a special address.

All about the footnotes

BBC Radio 5 live

The Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant
Horizon Nuclear

Will Hitachi mothball its plan to build a nuclear power plant in Wales?

The signs don't look good.

Dr Edward Jones, economics lecturer at Bangor University, had said that he did not think that the Japanese giant would walk away - it has already invested £2bn in the Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant.

But today he tells Wake Up to Money: "It certainly is a difficult situation. We would hope the project continues in some form or another at a later date, given the impact it would have on both the local economy and the country as a whole."

Why is this happening?

Patricia Schouker, an energy analyst and associate member of New College at Oxford University, cites Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who, when meeting the UK's Theresa May recently, said that the legal stability post-Brexit is something the country needs to pay attention to.

"So, in real estate we say 'location, location' but in energy, we say 'footnotes, footnotes'."