TOKYO May 25 Japan's net external assets rose to
a record high in 2006, government data showed on Friday, keeping
it the world's largest creditor nation for the 16th straight
Japan's overseas assets rose 10.3 percent from a year earlier
to a record 558.106 trillion yen ($4.598 trillion) last year as
domestic investors increased foreign asset holdings, with their
value inflated by a weaker yen, Ministry of Finance data showed.
Rises in overseas equity markets also boosted the value of
Japanese investors' stock holdings, contributing to the increase
in overall foreign assets, the data showed.
Japanese liabilities abroad stood at 343.024 trillion yen, up
5.4 percent from the year before, as foreigners increased their
holdings of Japanese assets.
As a result, Japan's net external assets rose 19.0 percent to
215.081 trillion yen, growing for the first time in two years and
exceeding a record high marked in 2004.
While some countries like China and several Middle East
nations do not release comparable data, Japan's net external
assets far exceed those of Germany, which were the world's second
largest at 87.873 trillion yen at the end of 2006.