Japan's surplus rises

JAPAN'S current account surplus, long a source of friction with major trading partners, rose 3.3 percent to a record high in dollar terms in the fiscal year that ended March 31, Japan's Finance Ministry said yesterday.

Measured in yen, however, the fiscal 1993 surplus narrowed by 10 percent from the previous year as the rising yen encouraged spending by Japanese and discouraged purchases of Japanese products abroad.

It also was shrinking in dollar terms in March - by 16 percent to $15.76 billion from $18.79 billion a year earlier, the ministry said.

Japan's income in fiscal year 1993 exceeded its spending by $130.04 billion in the current account - a measure of its trade in goods and services plus certain other capital flows. The surplus was $125.9 billion the previous year.

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