The increase in the net asset balance held by Japanese firms, government and individuals was partly due to the yen's decline, which helps boost the value of the foreign assets in yen terms.
The Finance Ministry announcement said Japan's external assets in 2012 totaled $6.5 trillion, up 13.8 percent from 2011, while Japan's external liabilities rose 15.7 percent to $3.6 trillion, for net assets of $2.93 trillion.
Japan is believed to have become the world's largest holder of external net assets for the 22nd consecutive year, exceeding $1.49 trillion yen held by China and $1.2 trillion held by Germany, Kyodo News reported.
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