Japan Net External Assets Hit Record High in 2023, Remains World’s Top Creditor

REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo
People are reflected on an electric screen displaying Japanese Yen exchange rates against the U.S. dollar and other foreign currencies, at a currency exchange shop in Tokyo, Japan April 26, 2024.

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s net external assets rose to a record 471.3 trillion yen ($3 trillion) in 2023, increasing for a sixth straight year, as a weak yen and overseas corporate acquisitions boosted the value of its foreign assets, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday.

As a result, Japan retained its position as the world’s top creditor, followed by Germany with 454.8 trillion of net external assets and China with 412.7 trillion yen as of the end of 2023, according to the ministry.

A weak yen, coupled with a rise in direct investment overseas, helped Japan post a 51 trillion yen annual increase in the value of net external assets held by the Japanese government, businesses and individuals.

Gross external assets stood at 1,488 trillion yen and external debt came to 1,017 trillion yen.

The ministry also released revised current account balance data. For the whole of 2023, Japan logged a current account surplus of 21.4 trillion yen, versus the preliminary 20.6 trillion yen surplus.

$1 = 156.8200 yen