• Kyodo

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Japanese direct investment in China in the first half of 2015 fell 16.3 percent from a year before despite a diplomatic thaw in recent months, Chinese official data show.

It stood at ¥250 billion and the percentage of decline expanded from 9.4 percent in the first five months, according to the data released Tuesday by the Chinese Commerce Ministry. The total excludes investment in the financial sector.

Some Japanese executives attributed the sluggish investment to rising wages and other costs in China, as well as a slowdown in its economy. But they said that an improvement in relations between Tokyo and Beijing have helped them to do business more smoothly.

Among other major countries, investment from the United States dropped 37.6 percent to ¥130 billion ($1.09 billion), while that from the European Union rose 13.7 percent to ¥500 billion ($4.08 billion), according to the data.

In the first half, foreign direct investment in China totaled ¥85 trillion, or $68.41 billion, up 8.3 percent from a year earlier, the ministry said.

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