• Kyodo News

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Japan’s foreign exchange reserves were down $5.56 billion at the end of May from a month earlier to $1.041 trillion for the first decrease in two months, due partly to a decline in euro-denominated assets, the Finance Ministry said Monday.

The fall was also attributed to providing loans to debt-strapped Greece from the reserves through the International Monetary Fund, the ministry said.

The euro has been depreciating against other major currencies amid concerns about a debt crisis in the euro zone.

Japan’s foreign exchange reserves, the second-largest in the world after China’s, consist mainly of securities and deposits denominated in foreign currencies, gold, and reserve positions and special drawing rights at the IMF.

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