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Japanese exports fell 10.3 percent in September raising fears of a slide into recession.

Japanese exports fell more than 10 percent in September. It's the biggest drop in exports since last year's earthquake and tsunami took scores of factories off line, and it's unwelcome news for an economy which relies on exports. 

The biggest fall has been Japanese shipments to the European Union, which declined by 21 percent. The drop comes as EU economies continue to grapple with the effects of the continent's ongoing debt crisis.  

Exports to China, Japan's largest export market, also fell by 14 percent, triggered by a territorial dispute between Japan and China over a group of islands in the East China Sea. Widespread anti-Japanese protests swept across China in September, prompting many there to boycott Japanese products.

Japan has only recently recovered from the recession which took hold in the aftermath of the earthquake. Some economists in Japan are now predicting the country could fall back into recession by the end of the year.

About the author

Rupert Wingfield-Hayes is a reporter with the BBC based in Japan.

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