Foreign direct investment in Japan fell 3.2 percent in fiscal 2003 from the previous year to 2.12 trillion yen, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday.

The amount was down from 2.19 trillion yen in fiscal 2002, when the country had some major investment projects such as U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s acquisition of a 37.8 percent stake in supermarket chain operator Seiyu Ltd.

The bulk of foreign direct investment in the year that ended March 31 was made through acquisitions of shares in Japanese companies, which totaled 1.63 trillion yen, down from 1.73 trillion yen in fiscal 2002, according to ministry data.

Foreign loans to Japanese companies — the other component of foreign direct investment — totaled 489.2 billion yen, up from 459.7 billion yen in the previous year.

U.S. direct investment in Japan fell 41.2 percent to 349.2 billion yen in fiscal 2003, accounting for 16.5 percent of the total amount.

European direct investment dipped 2.1 percent to 692.9 billion yen, accounting for 32.7 percent of the total investment, while Asian direct investment jumped 254.7 percent to 161.4 billion yen, accounting for 7.6 percent.

By sector, foreign direct investment in manufacturers declined 40.8 percent to 487.2 billion yen, with the metal industry down 82.7 percent and the oil sector down 79.3 percent.

However, foreign direct investment in nonmanufacturers rose 19.5 percent to 1.63 trillion yen, bolstered by a 136.7 percent climb in the real estate industry.

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