Japan's exports have fallen for the first time in three months, reinforcing worries that the strong yen and global debt crisis are affecting the economy.
The Ministry of Finance said shipments dropped 3.7% in October from a year earlier. The BBC reports the drop was steeper than expected.
This pushed the balance of trade into a deficit, as imports jumped on high fuel costs.
The Bank of Japan warned last week that the debt crisis in Europe was stifling demand and hurting Japanese exporters.
The strong yen is seen as a big threat to the economy. Japan has intervened in foreign exchange markets three times this year, most recently on 31 October.