Japan's balance-of-trade deficit tripled in size last year, soaring to a record $77 billion as the rising currency of the world's third-largest economy made more and more products too expensive for international markets.

The nation's excess of imports over exports in 2012 also stemmed from Europe's recession weakening demand from the continent and growing Chinese resentment of Japan, which translates into fewer purchase of Japanese goods, the Financial Times said on Thursday.