TOKYO -- Japan's direct investment beyond its borders climbed to a record $169.6 billion in 2016, according to an annual report Monday from the Japan External Trade Organization.
The figure represents a 24% jump from the prior year and is 9% higher than the previous record set in 2013.
Investment in the European Union climbed sharply, while investment in North America also grew solidly. Investment in the U.S., where more than 30% of Japan's foreign investment is directed, set a record for the seventh straight year.
At a press conference Monday, JETRO Chairman and CEO Hiroyuki Ishige said that although trade policy uncertainty has increased under the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, "there are still high expectations for growth in U.S. markets" and Japanese companies have not shown much inclination to hold back on investment there.
Meanwhile, direct investment in Japan also reached a record, rising to $34.9 billion. The total was pushed higher by mergers and acquisitions by European companies in the pharmaceutical and automotive fields. Asia accounted for 18% of the investment in Japan, an increase of more than 10 percentage points over the past decade, underscoring Asian companies' growing presence in the country as investors.