TOKYO-Japanese exports jumped 14.9% in May, helped by a pickup in demand in emerging markets and a weaker yen compared with a year ago.
Analysts expected exports to rise 16.1% and for imports to increase 14.8%. The fiscal surplus stood at ¥4.01 trillion, government data showed in April.
The May deficit is "mainly because of a rise in imports, reflecting Japan's resilient economy", Minami said.
A large trade surplus could draw criticism from the Trump administration, which has repeatedly indicated that it prefers protectionist policies to reduce the USA trade deficit and increase exports.
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Larger shipments of flat panels and semiconductor manufacturing equipment drove the gains in China-bound exports.
Imports climbed an annual 17.8% to 6.054 trillion yen versus expectations for 14.5% and up from 15.2% a month earlier.
Japan will on Monday release May figures for imports, exports and trade balance, highlighting a light day for Asia-Pacific economic activity.
The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Friday and upgraded its assessment of private consumption for the first time in six months.