Japan plans to boost its exports to the United States, Canada and other countries as the global economic downturn continues, the Japanese government said on Wednesday.

The ministry said on its official Twitter account that it would boost imports of products made from the three countries and import products made by other manufacturers.

It said it was expected to boost the value of exports by 1.8 trillion yen ($13.5 billion).

The Japan Times said the move would help boost exports by about 1.3 trillion yen, or $8.8 billion.

Japan has been exporting some products to the US, such as tires, but that export market has been severely depressed in recent months as its economy shrank and it struggled to meet rising demand for food.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the measures in September.

Japan’s export performance has been weak over the past two years, as the world’s third-largest economy shrinks as well as other emerging markets such as China.