The trade surplus is pegged at 43.3 billion yen, down from 481.7 billion yen a month earlier.
The result was an 329.6% increase in the country's trade surplus versus the year-ago period to reach 203.4bn yen.More news: HUD Secretary Ben Carson: Give Robert Mueller a chance on Russian Federation probe
Japan's imports rose more than expected in May, partly due to increasing demand for intermediate goods companies need to manufacture their products. In April, Japan's trade surplus with the United States fell an annual 4.2 percent.
"Nonetheless, "new export orders" in the manufacturing PMI remains consistent with double-digit y/y-gains in export volumes".More news: Confederations Cup 2017 Preview; Will Russia Be Good Host?
Thanks in part to a weaker yen, exports to China, Japan's largest trading partner, surged 23.9 percent year-on-year to 1.12 trillion yen, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report.
Imports increased 17.8 percent (estimate +14.5 percent). That figure has captured attention after President Donald Trump named Japan as one of the nations contributing to the US trade deficit.More news: Number of global displaced up to 65.6 million last year
Exports were up 14.9% on year to 5.851 trillion yen, shy of expectations for a gain of 16.0% following the 7.5% gain in the previous month. In the first three months of 2017, the economy grew an annualized 1.0%, to extend Japan's growth streak to the longest in 11 years.
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