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Japan's net external assets top $3.2 trillion in 2021 amid weaker yen

Ministry of Finance. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's net balance of external assets surpassed 400 trillion yen ($3.2 trillion) for the first time in 2021 as the weakness of the yen against major currencies inflated their value, making the country the world's biggest creditor for the 31st consecutive year, the Finance Ministry said Friday.

    The net balance of external assets held by the Japanese government, companies and individual investors jumped 56.15 trillion yen from a year earlier to a record 411.18 trillion yen.

    In 2021, the yen dropped 11.4 percent from a year earlier against the U.S. dollar to 115.12, while falling 2.9 percent against the euro to 130.43.

    In yen terms, Germany ranked second with net external assets worth 315.72 trillion yen, followed by Hong Kong at 242.75 trillion yen.

    The total value of Japan's external assets expanded 9.2 percent to a record 1,249.88 trillion yen, up for the 13th straight year, as the volume of Japanese foreign direct investment rose.

    Its overseas liabilities also reached a record 838.69 trillion yen, climbing 6.2 percent for the third consecutive year of increase, as foreign investors expanded their holdings of Japanese equities.

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