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Japan’s digital trade deficit continues to grow

Japan’s balance of payments deficit in digital services continues to increase steadily.

Japan’s current account structure is undergoing a “historic transformation,” in the words of a senior finance ministry official, signaling the need for a fundamental reassessment of the country’s earning capacity.

According to the ministry, the balance of trade related to digital services includes fees for the use of copyrights, trade in communications, computers and information services, and specialized and management consultancy services. It includes fees for the use of cloud-based email and social media services, as well as data storage services and transactions related to search engines and Internet advertising.

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