TOKYO -- Japan's direct investment overseas grew by 10.4% to a record $135 billion in 2013, the Japan External Trade Organization reported Thursday.
Japanese direct investment in China decreased 32.5% to $9.1 billion, while direct investment toward members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations jumped 120% to $23.6 billion, according to the 2014 JETRO Global Trade and Investment Report.
In 2012, Japan's foreign direct investment in China exceeded that toward Asean members, but the difference swung sharply the other way in 2013. This was partly because of investment in auto factories in the Asean countries and the acquisition of Thailand's Bank of Ayudhya by Japan's Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.
Still, in general, Japanese companies are shifting their direct investment from China -- where the economy is slowing, labor costs are rising and Japanese-Sino relations have soured -- toward Southeast Asia.