According to Economy Watch, the island nation of Japan imports commodities primarily, with the largest import being that of petroleum. Japan is known as a processing nation, importing raw materials and exporting finished products to keep its economy functioning.
Japan imported $856.9 billion in goods and raw materials in 2012, turning around and exporting $792.9 billion that same year. The large amount of imports and exports makes Japan the 5th largest importer and exporter in the world. Along with petroleum, which makes up 15.5 percent of all Japan's imports, the nation also imports large quantities of natural gas, coal, clothing, semiconductors and audio/visual equipment.
It serves as the chief import destination for 15 nations around the world. As of 2012, Japan's largest trading partners include China with 21.5 percent of total imports, the United States with 8.9 percent, Australia with 6.6 percent and Saudi Arabia with 5.9 percent. To help facilitate the best trade agreements possible, Japan is also a member of several international trading organizations, such as the WTO, G8, G-20 and the OECD. Japan also has economic partnerships with a diverse number of nations, including the Republic of Korea, India, Chile, Switzerland and Australia, granting the country favorable trade relations.