Japan’s Finance Ministry says the country’s exports rose 2.8 percent in August from a year earlier, the first increase in six months.

That’s a signal that Japan’s trade-dependent economy is recovering from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disasters, which disrupted automobile and other industrial output.

The Finance Ministry said Wednesday that exports of motor vehicles rose 5.3 percent.

Overall imports in August increased 19.2 percent year-on-year.

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