Japan’s foreign-exchange reserves hit a record high at the end of September, rising $49.79 billion to $604.87 billion due to massive currency market interventions, the Finance Ministry said Tuesday.

The figure topped the $600 billion mark for the first time. It was the first rise in two months following a small drop in August.

The surge in September was mainly the result of Japanese monetary authorities’ yen-weakening selloffs. The ministry said it used a record 4.46 trillion yen from Aug. 28 to Sept. 26 to step into the currency market.

A ministry official said the increase was also due to a rise in the value of U.S. bonds and the strengthening of the euro against the dollar, which pushed up the value of Japan’s euro-denominated assets in dollar terms.

The previous record high for the nation’s foreign-exchange reserves was $556.84 billion at the end of July.

Japan remained the largest holder of foreign reserves of any country or territory for the 45th straight month, according to the latest comparable data, the ministry said.

The foreign-exchange reserves consist of securities and deposits denominated in foreign currencies plus International Monetary Fund reserve positions, IMF special drawing rights and gold.

Japan had $467.16 billion in foreign securities in September, up from $443.40 billion in August, and $116.96 billion in foreign currency deposits, up from $92.11 billion.

Of the deposits, $9.9 billion was at foreign central banks and the Swiss-based Bank for International Settlements, $56.52 billion at Japanese banks, and $50.55 billion at foreign banks.

Japan had $9.55 billion in gold, up from $9.24 billion in August. It had $8.58 billion in IMF reserve positions and $2.63 billion in special drawing rights.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.