The decline of physical music shipments in Japan slowed in the first half of 2010, according to figures released by the Record Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ).

The total number of audio shipments from January to June this year was 97.5 million units, down 4% from the same period in 2009, for a value of 106.1 billion yen ($1.2 billion). That amounts to a drop of 11% in value compared to last year.

Those figures, however, compare favorably with RIAJ figures for the first quarter of 2010 when the market declined by 10% in production and 16% in value from the same quarter in 2009.

In line with previous RIAJ results, international repertoire continued its slide, with total audio shipments totaling 19.6 million units, down 5% from the corresponding period last year, for a value of 19.3 billion yen ($221 million). That amounts to a 22% drop in value compared to the first half of 2009.

The drop in international repertoire shipments has, nonetheless, slowed from the first quarter of 2010 when RIAJ figures reported an 18% decline in international repertoire shipments compared to the first quarter of 2009.