TOKYO: In yet another demonstra-tion of economic muscle-flexing, China underscored its formidable growth by displacing the USA last year as Japan's largest trading partner. The latter's trade with the People's Republic rose to ¥25.43 trillion ($214.38bn; €186.34bn; £ 126.88bn) compared to America's ¥25.16tr.

The magnitude of this achievement is emphasized by the fact that the figures exclude trade with Hong Kong - included in past years.

According to the Japanese Finance Ministry, it is the first time since World War 2 that the nation's trade with mainland China exceeded that with the USA.

In 2005 the gross domestic product of the world's seven trillionaire economies was . . .

  1. United States ($11.7 trillion)
  2. Japan ($4.4tr)
  3. Germany ($2.0tr)
  4. China ($1.7tr)
  5. UK ($1.7tr)
  6. France ($1.5tr)
  7. Italy ($1.2tr)
The value of imports and exports between Japan and China, grew for the eighth consecutive year. Exports totalled around ¥11.31tr, up 21.2% year-on-year and led by videogame consoles and electronic components for home appliances.

Imports were about ¥14.11tr, up 13%, with clothing and cellphones notching strong growth.

Data sourced from The Asahi Shimbun (Japan); additional content by WARC staff