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Explanation of "Balance of Payments Statistics (Data Based on the BPM5)"

May 2011
Bank of Japan
International Department

This explanation is for the data through 2013 (discontinued).

Basic information

Compilation section : Ministry of Finance and Bank of Japan, International Department, Balance of Payments Division

Balance of Payments Statistics are aggregated and estimated by the Bank of Japan, which is entrusted by the Minister of Finance under the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act

Frequency of compilation : Balance of Payments <Preliminary>: monthly basis
Balance of Payments <Revised>: quarterly basis
Regional Balance of Payments: quarterly basis

Time of release : Balance of Payments <Preliminary>: released at mid-month with results of two months before
Balance of Payments <Revised>: released two months after final release month of each quarter
Regional Balance of Payments: released in month following release of revised statistics

Method of release : Bank of Japan Internet web site

Balance of Payments Statistics are jointly released by the Bank of Japan and the Ministry of Finance.

  • Related materials are made available on the "Statistics" page of the Ministry of Finance Internet web site. Principal time-series data of Balance of Payments <Preliminary and Revised> are made available in the Balance of Payments page of the same web site.
  • Information are also available to the public at the Information Room of the Head Office of the Bank of Japan (open from 8:50 to 17:00, Monday to Friday)

Publications : "Balance of Payments Quarterly (International Department, Bank of Japan)"

From the Bank of Japan

This document has been prepared for current and prospective users, and provides easy-to-understand explanations of the outline of the balance of payments (BOP) statistics as based on the methodologies issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

1. Definition

The BOP is a statistical statement that systematically summarizes, for a specific time period, the economic transactions of an economy with the rest of the world. The transactions between residents and nonresidents consist of: (1) those involving goods, services, and income, (2) those involving financial claims and liabilities, and (3) those classified as transfers. A transaction itself is defined as an economic flow that reflects the creation, transformation, exchange, transfer, or extinction of economic value and involves changes in ownership of goods and/or financial assets, the provision of services, or the provision of labor and capital.

2. Methodologies

Compilation Principles

Japan's BOP statistics are based on the recording principles in the Balance of Payments Manual, fifth edition (BPM5) issued by the IMF. In accordance with the provisions of Article 8 Paragraph 5 of the IMF Agreement, the IMF requires member countries to provide information on their BOP statistics. The BPM5 establishes the standard international rules for the compilation of BOP statistics and provides guidelines on the reporting format to the IMF.
The main descriptions about treatments in Japan's BOP statistics are as follows.

  • Residence
    The concept of residence does not reflect nationality or legal criteria, but is based on a transactor's center of economic interest.
    Concepts of residency as they apply to Japan's BOP statistics are defined as follows in the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act (Foreign Exchange Act). "A 'resident' shall mean a natural person having his place of domicile or residence in Japan, or a juridical person having its main office in Japan. A branch, agency or other office in Japan of a nonresident, irrespective of whether it is legally authorized to represent its principal or not, shall be deemed to be a resident, even if its main office is in a foreign country."
    "A 'nonresident' shall mean a natural or juridical person other than a resident"
    Residency criteria are separately established in a notification of the Ministry of Finance ("Regarding the Interpretation and Application of Ordinances of the Foreign Exchange Act"). The above definition of residency is adopted because Japan's BOP statistics are primarily based on source data derived from reports submitted under the Foreign Exchange Act.
  • Double-entry system
    The basic principle applied in compiling BOP statistics is that every recorded transaction is represented by two entries with equal values. One of the entries is designated a credit, while the other is designated a debit. In principle, the sum of all credit entries is identical to the sum of all debit entries.
    Exports and decreases in foreign financial assets (or increases in foreign financial liabilities) are recorded as credits, while imports and increases in foreign financial assets (or decreases in foreign financial liabilities) are recorded as debits. In other words, with regard to assets, whether real or financial, decreases in holdings are recorded as credits, while increases in holdings are recorded as debits. On the other hand, increases in liabilities are recorded as credits, while decreases in liabilities are recorded as debits.
  • Valuation
    In principle, a transaction is valued at its transaction price.
  • Time of recording
    In principle, a transaction is recorded at the time of transaction.
  • Conversion method
    To facilitate comparison with domestic statistics, foreign-currency denominated transactions are, in principle, converted into yen at the prevailing rate of the foreign exchange market.

The foreign exchange rates used in conversion are either of the following categories.

  1. (1) When a reporter reports a foreign-currency denominated transaction in yen terms
    When a reporter is reporting a foreign-currency denominated transaction in yen terms, the exchange rate used in conversion is stipulated under Article 35 of the Ministerial Ordinance Concerning Reporting of Foreign Exchange Transactions (Reporting Ordinance). Article 35 basically provides two options. First, "transactions shall be converted at the foreign exchange rate that is prevailing on the day of the transaction to be reported, or the day or the final business day of the month in which the transaction is executed or settled." Second, "transactions shall be converted at the exchange rate posted by the Bank of Japan (Ministerial Ordinance rate) as stipulated by the Minister of Finance." The Bank of Japan announces the Ministerial Ordinance rate for the forthcoming month on or around the 20th of each month (in Japanese only).
  2. (2) When the Bank of Japan converts a transaction denominated in a foreign currency into yen in compiling the statistics
    When the Bank of Japan converts a transaction denominated in a foreign currency into yen, the exchange rate used in conversion is the foreign exchange rate prevailing in the corresponding month. (This is the same as the Ministerial Ordinance rate for two months later.)

Classification of the Balance of Payments

The components of Japan's BOP statistics are based on the BPM5 issued by the IMF. That is to say, while the IMF's "standard components" provide the basis for Japan's BOP statistics, various additions are made to facilitate analysis and research. For example, net values are provided for principal components and data are re-classified into more detailed sub-components. (This is referred to as "analytical format.") The components of Japan's BOP statistics are presented in the table below.

Table: Components of Japan's Balance of Payments

Methodologies of Components

The methodologies of the components of Japan's BOP statistics are as follows.

1. Current Account

1.A.a Trade balance

"Trade balance" covers international transactions of "goods" (exports and imports), which are recorded at market value on a free on board (FOB) basis. Trade balance comprises the five categories of general merchandise, goods for processing, repairs on goods, goods procured in ports by carriers, and nonmonetary gold. However, transactions of nonmonetary gold pertaining to investment in gold and gold savings accounts are excluded. (These are included in "Capital and financial account".)
Source data for the compilation of trade balance consist of trade statistics. Trade statistics are compiled by the Ministry of Finance based on custom clearance documents.
In trade statistics, imports are valued on a CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) basis, while exports are valued on a FOB (Free On Board) basis. To derive FOB values, imports are adjusted by deducting freight and insurance costs.
Trade statistics are further adjusted for scope and time of recording before being used to derive trade balance. The major adjustments made are as follows.

  1. (1) Adjustment in Scope of Recording
    Trade statistics cover the movement of goods across customs frontiers. For this reason, differences can arise between customs clearance and change of ownership. For such goods, it becomes necessary to make adjustments in the scope of recording. Currently, adjustments in scope of recording are made for the following types of items.
  • Items added to import value
    (Example) Communications satellites launched in foreign countries.
  • Items deducted from export and import values
    (Example) Export and import shipments cancelled.
  1. (2) Adjustment in Time of Recording
    When there is a time lag between customs clearance and change of ownership, it becomes necessary to make adjustments in the time of recording. For example, a lag occurs in the importation of aircraft.
1.A.a.1 General merchandise

"General merchandise" covers transactions of movable goods with changes of ownership between residents and nonresidents with quid pro quo. All transactions of movable goods, excluding goods for processing, repairs on goods, goods procured in ports by carriers, and nonmonetary gold, are recorded in general merchandise.
Source data are based on trade statistics and reports on payments/receipts submitted by individuals and enterprises.
Reports on payments/receipts cover payments or receipts between residents and nonresidents made through bank remittances, offsetting transactions, and through deposit accounts held abroad. Reports on payments/receipts include a "balance of payments component classification number" and are submitted by resident entities. The reported data are aggregated by balance of payments component classification number and are recorded under the appropriate component.

1.A.a.2 Goods for processing

"Goods for processing" covers processing materials exported (imported) for processing, and products that are re-imported (re-exported) after processing, which are recorded on a gross basis. This component is an exception to the change of ownership principle because goods for processing do not undergo a change of ownership. Source data are based on trade statistics.

1.A.a.3 Repairs on goods

"Repairs on goods" covers the amount of repair for movable goods, such as ships and aircraft, owned by residents (nonresidents). This component is valued at the prices of repair, and not at the gross values of the goods. Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts.

1.A.a.4 Goods procured in ports by carriers

"Goods procured in ports by carriers" covers transactions involving fuels, food stuff, and other goods procured in Japan (abroad) by carriers (ships, aircraft) owned by nonresidents (residents). Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts, and income/expenditure reports submitted by shipping enterprises and airlines (including the Japanese branches and representative offices of foreign shipping enterprises and airlines).

1.A.a.5 Nonmonetary gold

"Nonmonetary gold" covers all transactions in gold, excluding gold held by monetary authorities as a reserve asset (monetary gold) and investment in gold and gold savings accounts.

1.A.b Services
1.A.b.1 Transportation

"Transportation" covers all transportation services provided between residents and nonresidents, such as passenger transportation, freight transportation, and rentals of transportation equipment with crew. Among related transactions, the followings are excluded from transportation: freight insurance (included in insurance services); goods procured in foreign ports by carriers (ships, aircraft) and repairs of transportation equipment (included in goods); repairs of harbors and airfield facilities (included in construction services); rentals of transportation equipment without crew (so-called operational leases, which are included in other business services).
Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts, and income/expenditure reports submitted by shipping enterprises and airlines. Transportation services are classified by mode of transport (sea, air, and other); for their part, these categories are classified by type of service (passenger, freight, and other transportation services).

1.A.b.2 Travel

"Travel" covers goods and services acquired by travelers from the economies in which they are traveling and for their own use. "Travel" is subdivided into two categories, namely, "business travel" and "personal travel," identified by purpose of travel. "Travel" is distinguished from other components of services by the following characteristics.
Travelers purchase goods and services from the residents of the countries to which they travel. Therefore, "travel" is not a specific type of service but a combination of goods and services consumed by travelers. "Travel" mainly covers expenditures on goods and services of nonresidents traveling in Japan and residents traveling abroad. Specifically, these include expenditures made for the following purposes: (1) accommodation, food and beverages, entertainment, and local transportation; (2) gifts; (3) business travel; (4) overseas education and medical care received during travel; and (5) package tours. The international carriage of travelers is classified as transportation and is not included in travel.
The definition of a traveler in Japan's BOP statistics is based on the provisions of the BPM5. That is to say, in principle, a traveler is an individual staying for a short period of time in an economy of which he/she is not a resident (expenditures made by international students and medical patients are recorded under travel, regardless of the length of their stay).
Source data are based on releases by government offices and other institutions of the survey results regarding expenditures for traveling to Japan and traveling abroad, the number of travelers, and the number of long-term international students and their per capita expenditures (tuition, cost of living, etc.), and on reports on payments/receipts.

1.A.b.3 Other services

"Other services" covers all service transactions between residents and nonresidents, excluding transportation and travel. These cover the following categories: communications services, construction services, insurance services, financial services, computer and information services, royalties and license fees, other business services, personal, cultural and recreational services, and government services, n.i.e..

1.A.b.3.1 Communications services

"Communications services" covers receipts and payments between residents and nonresidents pertaining to communication services. Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts.

1.A.b.3.2 Construction services

"Construction services" covers construction and installation project work that are performed abroad by Japanese enterprises and performed in Japan by foreign enterprises. Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts.

1.A.b.3.3 Insurance services

"Insurance services" are derived by subtracting claims from premiums of various types of insurance, which is provided by Japanese insurance enterprises to nonresident policyholders, and vice versa. Agent commissions for insurance transactions are also included in this component. Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts and reports submitted by non-life insurance enterprises.

1.A.b.3.4 Financial services

"Financial services" covers financial intermediary and auxiliary services conducted between residents and nonresidents (except those of insurance enterprises). Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts, income reports submitted by banks and other financial institutions, reports concerning derivatives transactions, and reports concerning issuance of securities.

1.A.b.3.5 Computer and information services

"Computer and information services" covers computer data and news-related service transactions between residents and nonresidents. Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts.

1.A.b.3.6 Royalties and license fees

"Royalties and license fees" covers receipts and payments between residents and nonresidents for the authorized use of rights pertaining to patents, trademarks and other industrial property, mining rights and copyrights, and the use of produced original or prototypes, such as films, through licensing agreements. Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts.

1.A.b.3.7 Other business services

"Other business services" covers various categories of service transactions between residents and nonresidents other than those defined above. The following are included in this component: gold dealing and other extremely short-term goods transactions that are concluded without crossing Japan's customs frontiers; and, the difference between buying and selling prices in nonmonetary gold transactions. Merchanting and other trade-related services, and operational leasing are also covered. Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts.

1.A.b.3.8 Personal, cultural and recreational services

"Personal, cultural and recreational services" covers transactions between residents and nonresidents involving production expenses and rental charges for audiovisual and related services. Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts.

1.A.b.3.9 Government services, n.i.e.

"Government services, n.i.e." is a residual category associated with the public sector and covers services not included in the above categories. Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts and expenditure reports submitted by government agencies.

1.B Income

"Income" covers two types of transactions between residents and nonresidents: those involving "compensation of employees" and those involving "investment income."

1.B.1 Compensation of employees

"Compensation of employees" covers compensation paid by residents to nonresident individuals, and compensation earned by residents in foreign countries. This component includes receipts and payments of wages and salaries to foreign (Japanese) crew working on ships and aircraft of Japanese (foreign) nationality. Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts, and income/expenditure reports submitted by shipping enterprises and airlines.

1.B.2 Investment income

"Investment income" covers receipts and payments of interest, dividends and other income associated with residents' external financial assets and liabilities. Realized capital gains and losses are not included in this component (included in capital and financial account). Investment income comprises the following categories: direct investment income, portfolio investment income, and other investment income.

1.B.2.1 Direct investment income

"Direct investment income" covers interest, dividends, and other investment income accruing to direct investors holding direct investments. Reinvested earnings (direct investors' shares of earnings of direct investment enterprises that have not been formally distributed) have been included in this component, beginning with the statistics for January 1996. Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts, and annual reports concerning stock of retained earnings submitted by resident enterprises. See Box 1 for estimation method of reinvested earnings.

Box 1: Estimation Method of Reinvested Earnings

Reinvested earnings are estimated based on annual reports on the stock of retained earnings submitted by enterprises. Monthly statistics are derived as follows.

  1. The year-on-year change in the stock of retained earnings is computed and used as the latest annual figure.
  2. The annual figure is equally allocated among the 12 months of the pertinent year.
  3. This method is used to derive the monthly figure for individual reports. The figures from individual reports are aggregated to derive reinvested earnings for the latest month.
1.B.2.2 Portfolio investment income

"Portfolio investment income" covers receipts and payments of dividends derived from investments other than direct investment, interest accruing to government bonds and other securities, and interest accruing to money market instruments. Receipts and payments of interest accruing to discount bonds and notes are also included in this component. Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts, and income reports submitted by banks and other financial institutions.

Note: Revision in treatment of financial derivatives (derivatives transactions)
In Japan's former BOP statistics (ending with preliminary figures for December 2001), receipts and payments pertaining to financial derivatives were recorded under "Portfolio investment income." However, in light of the partial revision of the BPM5 issued by the IMF, receipts and payments of interest pertaining to financial derivatives were moved to "Financial derivatives," which was established as a new sub-component of "Capital and Financial account." (Time series data for the revised treatment of interest pertaining to financial derivatives are published under "Balance of Payments Statistics: After the revision of the statistical treatment of financial derivatives (from Jan. 1996)."

As there is no actual flow of funds during the period in which discount bonds and notes are held, no reports are submitted on receipts and payments. Therefore, this sub-component is estimated based on annual reports submitted by enterprises. See Box 2 for estimation method for discount bonds and notes.

Box 2: Estimation Method for Discount Bonds and Notes

  1. Interest income amount is computed by multiplying the stock of discount bonds and notes held (face value) by the yield (annual rate) indicated in reports.
  2. Annual figures are equally divided among the 12 months of the following year.
  3. Monthly figures computed in this way are recorded under receipts and payments of interest pertaining to short-term bonds and notes during the 12 months of the following year.
1.B.2.3 Other investment income

"Other investment income" covers receipts and payments pertaining to all claims and liabilities between residents and nonresidents other than direct investment income and portfolio investment income. For instance, receipts and payments of interest on loans and deposits are recorded under this component. Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts, and income reports submitted by banks and other financial institutions.

1.C Current transfers

The double-entry system requires offsetting items, transfers, to balance unilateral transactions, whereby one economic entity provides a real resource, such as goods and services, or a financial item without quid pro quo. Transfers are classified as "current transfers," which is current account payments of the counter-country, and as "capital transfers," which contributes to capital formation in the counter-country. The former is recorded under current account, and the latter is recorded under capital and financial account. Current transfers are all transfers that are not classified as capital transfers, and include grants-in-aid between individuals and between governments, contributions to international organizations, workers' remittances, and receipts and payments of claims for non-life insurance.
Source data are based on information and reports on payments/receipts submitted by government agencies, and reports submitted by non-life insurance enterprises. Current transfers are divided into the two categories of "public sector" and "other sectors," depending on whether the resident entity belongs to the public sector.

2. Capital and Financial Account

"Capital and financial account" covers receipts and payments of assets and liabilities between residents and nonresidents, and consists of two main categories: "financial account" and "capital account."

2.A Financial account

"Financial account" covers transactions of financial assets and liabilities between residents and nonresidents, and comprises the following sub-components: direct investment, portfolio investment, financial derivatives, and other investment.
On the other hand, "capital account" covers transactions between residents and nonresidents involving the transfer of ownership of fixed assets, and transactions of non-produced, nonfinancial assets. Capital account comprises "capital transfers" and "acquisition/disposal of non-produced, nonfinancial assets." Valuation changes are not included in this component. (Valuation changes are reflected in international investment position.)
The following sub-components of financial account are classified by the sector of the resident: portfolio investment, financial derivatives, and other investment. In Japan's BOP statistics, the monetary authorities and general government are included in public sector.

2.A.1 Direct investment

"Direct investment" covers all transactions (investments) between direct investors and direct investment enterprises. These include acquisition of equity capital, reinvested earnings, and lending/borrowing of funds. A direct investor is defined as a resident entity with a lasting interest in an enterprise resident in another economy. In principle, a direct investment relationship comes into being when the percentage of ownership is 10 percent or more.
Acquisition/disposal of foreign (domestic) real estate by residents (nonresidents) is also included in direct investment.
Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts, and annual reports concerning reinvested earnings submitted by resident enterprises. Reinvested earnings have been recorded since January 1996. Reinvested earnings are recorded under "Outflow" of direct investment (assets) or under "Inflow" of direct investment (liabilities). Negative figures (-) are recorded when retained earnings decrease.

2.A.2 Portfolio investment

"Portfolio investment" covers transactions between residents and nonresidents in equity and debt securities that are not included in "direct investment" and "changes in reserve assets." Bonds and notes and money market instruments are included in this component. Acquisitions by nonresidents of CD issued by Japanese banks are recorded under other investment (currency and deposits). On the other hand, acquisitions by residents of CD issued abroad (defined as securities under the Foreign Exchange Act) are recorded under portfolio investment. Government bonds, government agency bonds, and local government bonds are included in "sovereign bonds" of "outward portfolio investment, country breakdown of sovereign bonds." The time of recording for portfolio investment has been changed from settlement date to contract date since January 2005.

Box 3: Treatment of Securities Lending Transactions

Two sets of data are released for portfolio investment. One is "including securities lending," while the other is "excluding securities lending." This is because securities lending transactions are subject to large short-term fluctuations, which can cause significant discrepancies between monthly portfolio investment data and actual developments in the buying and selling of securities. It is appropriate to exclude securities lending transactions to figure out developments in global securities transactions, or to accurately analyze developments in the portfolio element of securities transactions.
Securities lending transactions also affect other investment (theoretically, the buying and selling of securities causes changes in the balance of currency and deposit accounts). Therefore, two sets of data (including and excluding securities lending transactions) are also released for other investment.

Source data are based on reports concerning securities transactions and reports concerning issuance and redemption submitted by securities companies, banks, major institutional investors, and government agencies.

2.A.3 Financial derivatives

"Financial derivatives" covers realized profit or loss on options, futures and forward agreements, warrants, and currency swaps. Interest accruing to interest-rate swaps is also recorded under this component. Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts, and reports concerning derivatives transactions and securities transactions.

2.A.4 Other investment

"Other investment" covers all financial instruments other than those classified as direct investment, portfolio investment, financial derivatives, or reserve assets. This component includes trade credits, loans, currency and deposits, and other assets/liabilities. Other assets/liabilities include receivable and payable accounts resulting from timing difference (adjustment for the timing difference between contract date and settlement date) since January 2005 when the time of recording for portfolio investment was changed from settlement date to contract date. Securities lending transactions are recorded under loans in other investment.
Transactions of nonmonetary gold pertaining to investment in gold and gold savings accounts are also included in other investment (excluded from "goods" in the current account). These transactions are defined as financial transactions because they do not involve physical movement of goods across Japanese customs frontiers, and they generate fixed interest.
Source data are based on quarterly trade credit questionnaires submitted by Japanese exporters (importers), reports concerning loans extended, reports concerning assets and liabilities submitted by banks and others, reports concerning balance of external deposits, and reports on payments/receipts. Because trade credit questionnaires are submitted on a quarterly basis, the data need to be divided among the relevant months (distributed in proportion to quarterly distribution of export and import values).

2.B Capital account
2.B.1 Capital transfers

"Capital transfers" covers the transfer of funds pertaining to the acquisition/disposal of fixed assets, the transfer of ownership of fixed assets, and forgiveness of debt by creditors. Source data are based on reports on payments/receipts and reports submitted by government agencies. Source data for forgiveness of debt are based on reports submitted by government agencies and resident enterprises. Capital transfers are divided into the two categories of "public sector" and "other sectors," depending on whether the resident entity belongs to the public sector.

2.B.2 Acquisition/disposal of non-produced, nonfinancial assets

"Acquisition/disposal of non-produced, nonfinancial assets" covers transactions involving intangible, nonfinancial assets, such as patents, copyrights, trademarks, transferable contracts, and the purchase and sale of land by embassies or international organizations.

3. Changes in Reserve Assets

"Changes in reserve assets" covers changes in those external assets that are readily available to and controlled by monetary authorities. Reserve assets include monetary gold, SDRs, and reserve positions in the IMF. Source data are based on information concerning the stock of reserve assets prepared by the Ministry of Finance.

Miscellaneous Aspects

Seasonal Adjustment
The Bank of Japan releases the seasonally adjusted data and the seasonal adjustment factors for the current account items, using the U.S. Census Bureau's X-12-ARIMA method. Seasonal adjustment using a logarithmic transformation with a multiplicative model is adopted for all items except for direct investment income. The reference period used for seasonal adjustment is from January 1996 to the most recent December. For the year starting after the most recent December, seasonally adjusted figures are calculated by applying the predicted seasonal factor.
Regional Breakdown
BOP statistics are aggregated by country and region, and data for 33 major countries and regions are released. Trade balance regional breakdown is compiled from the trade statistics of the Ministry of Finance. In principle, exports are classified by country of final destination, and imports are classified by country of origin. Other components of the current account are, as a rule, classified according to the transactor principle.
Financial and capital account is basically classified according to the debtor/creditor principle. (However, the liabilities side of portfolio investment is classified according to the transactor principle.)
External Assets and Liabilities of Banks, etc.
"External assets and liabilities of banks, etc." covers the external assets and liabilities of resident banks in Japan (Japanese banks and branches of foreign banks in Japan) as aggregated from their balance sheets (reports concerning assets and liabilities submitted by banks and others). The statistics are broken down as follows: by assets and liabilities, by long-term and short-term, and by foreign-currency denomination and yen-denomination. External assets and liabilities of banks, etc. are released monthly at the same time with the BOP statistics.
International Investment Position
"International investment position" is closely related to the balance of payments. Transactions of financial assets respectively held by residents and nonresidents (flow data) are recorded in the BOP statistics under financial and capital account and changes in reserve assets. For its part, the stock of overseas financial assets held by residents (external assets), and the stock of financial assets held in Japan by nonresidents (external liabilities) at a specific point in time are recorded in the international investment position. Changes occurring in the international investment position during a given period of time reflect transactions, revaluations caused by the fluctuation of foreign exchange rate and market value, and other factors.
Japan's international investment position at year-end is released not later than the end of May of the following year. Additionally, preliminary estimates and revised estimates of major components as of the end of each quarter are released in the last month of the following quarter and the last month of two quarters afterwards, respectively.
Gross External Debt Position
"Gross external debt position" systematically summarizes, at a given time, the value and breakdown of gross liabilities of resident to nonresidents as measured at market value. The statistics are compiled and released on a quarterly basis, and data are broken down: by sector, by maturity, and by debt instrument.
Compared to the liabilities side of the international investment position, gross external debt position has the following characteristics: (1) greater frequency and promptness of release (preliminary estimates and revised estimates of all components as of the end of each quarter are released in the last month of the following quarter and the last month of two quarters afterwards, respectively); (2) information not available through the international investment position are provided from such perspectives as external debt burden and liquidity.(For details of the gross external debt position, see "Regarding the Dissemination of External Debt Statistics.")
Revision
Data may be revised due to changes in methodology and source data.