The net external asset balance held by Japanese institutions, including the central government and companies, and individual investors reached a record 325.0 trillion yen as of the end of 2013, up 9.7 percent from a year earlier, the Finance Ministry said Tuesday.
The third straight annual rise came as the depreciation of the yen boosted the yen value of the external assets. Japan apparently became the world’s largest holder of overseas net assets for the 23rd consecutive year.
Japan’s external assets climbed 20.4 percent to 797.1 trillion yen, up for the fifth straight year, on the back of the yen’s more than 20 percent drop against the U.S. dollar from the previous year, as well as mergers and acquisitions of foreign companies.
External liabilities held by Japan, meanwhile, rose 29.1 percent to 472.1 trillion yen, gaining for the fourth consecutive year, as prices of Japanese stocks owned by foreign investors moved upward.
At the end of 2013, Japan’s net external assets exceeded 207.6 trillion yen held by China and 192.2 trillion yen held by Germany, according to data released by the International Monetary Fund and other organizations.