Exports plunged a record 45.7 percent in January from a year earlier, Ministry of Finance data showed on Wednesday, roughly matching a median market forecast.
Exports to Asia sank 46.7 percent, the fourth straight month of decline, with shipments to China falling 45.1 percent.
Many Japanese companies ship automobile and consumer electronics parts to assembly lines in Asia, from which final products are shipped to countries across the globe.
A collapse in global demand since late last year, which caught most manufacturers off guard, has led to a sharp increase in inventories and forced many leading Japanese companies to slash production at an unprecedented pace.
With Eastern Europe on the brink and Japan already in depression, America’s “sneeze” has turned into the world’s sepsis.