Recently the NHK News On-line reported the following:
The net external asset of Japan calculated by deducting properties held by foreign companies in Japan from property held by Japanese enterprises and individuals in foreign countries was about 328,000,000 million yen; it was 2 % less than the previous year but still was continuously the highest in the world for 27 years.
Net external asset was the amount of companies, factories and securities owned by the Japanese government, enterprises or individuals in foreign countries deducted by the properties held by foreign companies in Japan.
According to the Department of the Treasury, the amount of Japanese properties held in foreign countries as of the end of December last year was 1,012,431,000 million yen and was an increase of 2.7 % from the previous year.
On the other hand, the amount of asset held by overseas enterprises in Japan was 683,984,000 million yen and was an increase of 5.2 % from the previous year because the stock prices of Japanese companies rose and there was an increased in bond investment.
As a result, the amount of net external asset was 328,447,000 million yen which was 2.3 % less than the previous year and was a continuous decrease for 3 years.
However, Japanese net external asset continued to be the highest in the world for 27 years.
According to the Department of the Treasury, in the 2nd place was German with about 261,000,000 million yen; China had approximately 205,000,000 million yen in the 3rd place. Conversely, the United States had the highest net foreign debt in the world at approximately 886,000,000 million yen.
No wonder Japanese yen is popular among investors and is welcome during world-wide financial turbulence. Also, there is a good reason why the US is eager to address its trade imbalance.