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Japan foreign direct investment chalks record highs in 2016

Japan's outward foreign direct investment surged 24.3% to $169.6 billion in 2016, exceeding its peak of $155.6 billion in 2013, the Japan External Trade Organization, known as Jetro, said July 31 in its annual report.

Investment in the EU almost doubled in 2016 from the previous year, largely driven by investment in the U.K. The U.S. remained the top destination country for seven consecutive years, accounting for about 30% of total investment.

Jetro Chairman and CEO Hiroyuki Ishige said despite trade policy uncertainties under U.S. President Donald Trump, "there are still high expectations for growth in U.S. markets," the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

The Jetro report also noted a growing pattern of Japanese companies transferring from China to ASEAN countries, particularly in restructuring bases and functions related to sales and production.

Japan's inward FDI also rose about six-fold to $34.9 billion in 2016, said the Jetro report, as investment from Europe increased significantly in the pharmaceutical and automobile components sectors.