• Kyodo


The outstanding balance of Japanese government bonds held by the Bank of Japan hit an all-time high of ¥127.88 trillion at the end of March, up 43.8 percent from the previous year, the bank’s quarterly survey showed Wednesday.

The surge apparently reflects the BOJ’s expanded purchases of the bonds amid the ultra-loose monetary policy pursued by former Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa.

The outstanding balance of JGBs increased 5.3 percent to ¥969.12 trillion, with the BOJ’s holdings accounting for 13.2 percent. Government bonds held by domestic banks dropped 0.9 percent to ¥158.70 trillion as financial institutions sold some of their bond holdings to the BOJ.

JGBs held by overseas investors grew 6.5 percent to ¥81.55 trillion, also a record high as of the fiscal yearend, the BOJ said.

Meanwhile, financial assets held by Japanese households increased 3.6 percent to ¥1.57 quadrillion, rising for the fifth straight year, attributed partly to higher market values of stocks stemming from the weakening yen and rising share prices.

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