Japan Official Says Current Account Surplus Due to Investment

(Bloomberg) -- Japan’s top currency official said the nation’s current account surplus is a result of investments abroad rather than the exchange of goods, and it shouldn’t become a trade issue.

It’s not uncommon for Japan’s savings to grow because of its aging population, Masatsugu Asakawa, vice finance minister of international affairs, said at a conference in Tokyo.

His remarks came after Japan’s trade negotiator Toshimitsu Motegi urged bilateral talks with U.S. as soon as possible, following U.S. President Donald Trump complaining about years of “unfair” trade.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said last week that talks with Japan were urgent, and that he planned to visit this month.

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Asakawa said the multilateral approach is needed to improve global imbalances and Japan wants to promote discussions at the Group of 20 meeting this year as the chair.

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