Despite an economic slowdown in the U.S., exports from Japan were up 8.7% in February compared with the same month the previous year. Solid shipments of goods to Europe and Asia helped make up for reduced demand from U.S. "The biggest risk to Japan's exports is the United States," said Junko Nishioka, a Japan economist at ABN Amro. "If a U.S. slowdown continues to an extent that cannot be offset by demands from Asia and Europe, Japan could no longer rely on decoupling."

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