Exports rose 38.0% in April from a year earlier, official data showed on Thursday, compared with a 30.9% increase expected by economists and following a 16.1% rise in March.
"The trade data confirmed that exports were recovering steadily.
"In Japan, capital spending tends to move in sync with external demand, so an export recovery is encouraging for machinery orders and capital expenditure."
By destination, exports to China, Japan's largest trading partner, rose 33.9% year-on-year in April, led by shipments of chip-making equipment, hybrid cars and scrap copper.
The rise in core orders, which exclude those of ships and electric utilities, compared with a 6.4% increase seen in a Reuters poll of economists, the data showed.
Toru Hanai, Yuichi Kodama, Ayako Sera
REUTERS, U.S, Meiji Yasuda Research, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Thomson
Tokyo, Japan, U.S, China