Statistics

Home > Statistics > Outline of Statistics and Statistical Release Schedule > Explanations of Statistics > Explanation of "Balance of Payments Statistics (Data Based on the BPM6)"

Explanation of "Balance of Payments Statistics (Data Based on the BPM6)"

January 2019
Bank of Japan
International Department

Basic information

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

The balance of payments (BOP) statistics are compiled by the Bank, which is entrusted by the Minister of Finance under the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act (referred to as the "Foreign Exchange Act" hereafter).

Frequency of compilation :
Balance of Payments (Preliminary): monthly
Balance of Payments (Second preliminary): quarterly
Balance of Payments (Annually revised): annual
Regional Balance of Payments: quarterly
Regional Balance of Payments (Annually revised): annual

Time of release :
Balance of Payments (Preliminary): on the sixth business day of the month after next
Balance of Payments (Second preliminary): on the sixth business day of the first month of the quarter after next
Balance of Payments (Annually revised): on the sixth business day of April of the next year and the year after next
Regional Balance of Payments: on the sixth business day of the second month of the quarter after next
Regional Balance of Payments (Annually revised): on the sixth business day of May of the next year and the year after next

Method of release: Bank of Japan web site

The BOP statistics are jointly released by the Bank and the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

  • Data are available on the Bank's web site in the BOJ Time-Series Data Search.
  • Data for main components are also available on the MOF web site.

For an overview of methods and other aspects of the release of the BOP related statistics, see IV. Reference Materials.

Contents

I. Definition

The Balance of Payments (BOP) is a statistical statement that systematically summarizes the economic transactions of an economy with the rest of the world during a period. Transactions between residents and nonresidents are recorded under the following accounts according to their nature: (1) the current account for transactions in goods, services, and income, as well as current transfers; (2) the financial account for transactions involving increases/decreases in external financial assets and liabilities; and (3) the capital account for transactions in nonproduced nonfinancial assets and capital transfers.

The main source data are reports submitted under the Foreign Exchange Act, including reports on payments and receipts (referred to as payment reports hereafter).

II. Methodologies

A. Accounting Principles

Japan's BOP statistics are compiled in accordance with the sixth edition of the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6) published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2008. The IMF requires member countries to provide information on their BOP statistics under the provisions of Article 8, Section 5 of the Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund.BPM6 establishes the standard international rules for the compilation of BOP statistics and provides guidelines on the reporting format to the IMF.

The major accounting principles are described below.

1. Residence

The concept of residence does not reflect nationality or legal criteria, but is based on a transactor's center of predominant economic interest. That is,BPM6 treats an institutional unit as resident in an economic territory when there exists, within the territory, some location on which or from which the unit engages in economic activities on a significant scale over a long period of time. With regard to the location, in principle, the "actual or intended location for one year or more" is used as an operational definition.

Japan's BOP statistics are compiled primarily by employing source data derived from reports submitted under the Foreign Exchange Act. The Foreign Exchange Act provides definitions of a resident and a nonresident, and the "notification of the Ministry of Finance regarding the interpretation and application of the Foreign Exchange Act and ordinances" further establishes residency criteria (see table below).

notification of the Ministry of Finance regarding the interpretation and application of the Foreign Exchange Act and ordinances
  Definitions under the Foreign Exchange Act Residency criteria established in the MOF notification (examples)
Resident
  • A natural person having his/her domicile or residence in Japan
  • A juridical person having its principal office in Japan
    -- Branch offices or other offices in Japan of a nonresident are deemed to be resident
For persons:
  • A Japanese national, in principle
  • A foreign national working at an office in Japan or staying in Japan for six months or more
For juridical persons and other entities:
  • A branch office or other office in Japan of a foreign juridical person or other entity
  • A Japanese embassy or consulate overseas
Nonresident
  • A natural person or a juridical person other than a resident
For persons:
  • A foreign national, in principle
  • A Japanese national working at an office abroad, staying abroad for two years or more, or having left Japan with the intention to stay abroad for two years or more
For juridical persons and other entities:
  • A branch office or other office abroad of a Japanese juridical person or other entity
  • A foreign embassy or consulate in Japan, an international organization, the United States Forces Japan

2. Double-entry system

The BOP statistics are compiled applying the double-entry system, in which each transaction is recorded as consisting of two entries, a credit entry and a debit entry, of equal value. In principle, the sum of all credit entries equals the sum of all debit entries.

Exports of goods and services, receipts of income, decreases in assets, and increases in liabilities are recorded as credits, while imports of goods and services, payments of income, increases in assets, and decreases in liabilities are recorded as debits. For example, when a resident sells goods to a nonresident in return for cash, the exports are recorded as credit and the increase in cash (financial assets) is recorded as debit.

3. Valuation

In principle, a transaction is valued at its transaction price.

4. Time of recording

In principle, a transaction is recorded using the accrual basis.

5. Currency conversion

Japan's BOP statistics are compiled and disseminated in yen terms. Foreign-currency denominated transactions are, in principle, converted into yen at the prevailing foreign exchange market rate. The exchange rates used for conversion are either of the following.

a. When a reporter reports a foreign-currency denominated transaction in yen terms

When a reporter reports a foreign-currency denominated transaction in yen terms, the exchange rate used for conversion is stipulated under Article 35 of the "ministerial ordinance concerning reporting of foreign exchange transactions, etc." Specifically, depending on the type of transaction, the transaction is to be converted (1) at the exchange rate prevailing on the day of the transaction, action, or payment to be reported, or the last day of that month, or (2) at the exchange rate posted by the Bank as stipulated by the Minister of Finance (ministerial ordinance rate).

b. When the Bank converts a transaction denominated in a foreign currency into yen in compiling the statistics

When the Bank converts a transaction denominated in a foreign currency into yen, the exchange rate used for conversion is the exchange rate prevailing in the corresponding month.

B. Components

The components of Japan's BOP statistics are based onBPM6. That is to say, while the "standard components" inBPM6 provide the basis for Japan's BOP statistics, various additions are made to facilitate analysis and research. For example, net values (balances) are provided for the main components, and some components are broken down into more detailed items. The main components of Japan's BOP statistics are shown below.

1. Structure of Japan's BOP statistics (list of the main components)

  1. Current account
    • 1.A Goods and services
      • 1.A.a Goods
        • 1.A.a.1 General merchandise on a balance of payments basis
        • 1.A.a.2 Net exports of goods under merchanting (credit)
        • 1.A.a.3 Nonmonetary gold
      • 1.A.b Services
        • 1.A.b.1 Transport
        • 1.A.b.2 Travel
        • 1.A.b.3 Other services
          • 1.A.b.3.1 Manufacturing services on physical inputs owned by others
          • 1.A.b.3.2 Maintenance and repair services n.i.e.
          • 1.A.b.3.3 Construction
          • 1.A.b.3.4 Insurance and pension services
          • 1.A.b.3.5 Financial services
          • 1.A.b.3.6 Charges for the use of intellectual property n.i.e.
          • 1.A.b.3.7 Telecommunications, computer, and information services
          • 1.A.b.3.8 Other business services
          • 1.A.b.3.9 Personal, cultural, and recreational services
          • 1.A.b.3.10 Government goods and services n.i.e.
    • 1.B Primary income
      • 1.B.1 Compensation of employees
      • 1.B.2 Investment income
        • 1.B.2.1 Direct investment
        • 1.B.2.2 Portfolio investment
        • 1.B.2.3 Other investment
      • 1.B.3 Other primary income
    • 1.C Secondary income
  2. Capital account
    • 2.A Capital transfers
    • 2.B Gross acquisitions (DR.)/disposals (CR.) of nonproduced nonfinancial assets
  3. Financial account
    • 3.A Direct investment
    • 3.B Portfolio investment
    • 3.C Financial derivatives (other than reserves)
    • 3.D Other investment
    • 3.E Reserve assets

2. Methodologies by item

See Overview of Methodologies by Item [PDF 138KB].

C. Regional Breakdown

The BOP data are broken down by country and region of the counterparty, and data for 33 major countries and regions are disseminated quarterly in the second month of the quarter after next. In principle, data by country and region are broken down as follows:

Regional Breakdown
  Exports/credits Imports/debits
Current account Goods Country/region of final destination Country/region of origin
Services
Primary income
Secondary income
Country/region of the transactor Country/region of the transactor
Capital account
Regional Breakdown
  Assets Liabilities
Financial account Direct investment
Financial derivatives (other than reserves)
Other investment
Country/region of the debtor Country/region of the creditor
Portfolio investment Country/region of the transactor

Moreover, for direct investment and portfolio investment, regional data are also disseminated on a monthly basis as appendices to the BOP (Preliminary).

In addition, for direct investment flows and direct investment income, data by region and industry (where data by industry are primarily classified on the basis of the industry of the investee such as a subsidiary) are disseminated on a quarterly basis together with the BOP (Second preliminary). It should be noted, however, that the recording principle of direct investment flows employed in this breakdown differs from that for compiling the BOP, etc. For details, see Recording Principles of Direct Investment.

D. Seasonal Adjustment

For major current account items, seasonally adjusted data and the seasonal adjustment factors using the U.S. Census Bureau's X-12-ARIMA method are disseminated. For details, see Notices of Changes and Corrections on the "Balance of Payments (Data Based on the BPM6 [Data from January 2014 onward])" page posted when seasonally adjusted data are revised.

III. Other Related Statistics

A. International Transactions in Securities (based on reports from designated major investors)

The International Transactions in Securities (based on reports from designated major investors) are statistics on cross-border transactions in securities that are compiled with an emphasis on timeliness and cover only major financial institutions designated by the Minister of Finance in advance. Weekly figures are disseminated in the following week and monthly figures are disseminated in the following month by the MOF. For both portfolio investment assets and liabilities, figures for acquisitions, dispositions, and net acquisitions are disseminated by instrument: equity and investment fund shares, long-term debt securities, and short-term debt securities.

B.International Investment Position of Japan (IIP)

The IIP is a statistical statement that shows at a point in time the value and composition of financial assets of residents that are claims on nonresidents (external assets) and liabilities of residents to nonresidents (external liabilities). The IIP is compiled in accordance with BPM6. The IIP is divided into assets and liabilities and the difference between them is the net position. Items are classified following the same principles as the financial account of the BOP and are divided into the following functional categories for both the asset and liability side: direct investment, portfolio investment, financial derivatives (other than reserves), and other investment; furthermore, for the asset side they also contain reserve assets.

1. Valuation methods and source data

BPM6 indicates that positions of shares and other equity, debt securities, and financial derivatives should be recorded at market or market-equivalent value and positions of loans, deposits, and trade credit and advances should be recorded at nominal value (that is, the outstanding amount which the debtor owes to the creditor). The source data and valuation methods for the IIP are as follows.

For direct investment, the enterprise's own funds at book value, that is, the values recorded in the books of the direct investment enterprise (DIE), are employed for the valuation of "equity other than reinvestment of earnings" and "reinvestment of earnings," regardless of whether the DIE is listed or unlisted. The source data are reports on investment positions submitted by companies and the payment reports. For reference, market value estimates of the direct investment position (for which the book values of major listed enterprises are replaced by their market values, which are estimated based on their market capitalization using stock market prices) are compiled and disseminated.

Items under portfolio investment and financial derivatives (other than reserves) are in principle recorded at their current value (that is, the market or market-equivalent value), mainly based on reports on investment positions submitted by financial institutions.

Source data for the valuation of other investment items are much in common with those for the BOP. In Japan, loans and other debt positions are valued at nominal value excluding accrued interest.

Data for reserve assets are from the MOF.

2. Changes in the IIP by factor

Factors that account for changes in the IIP are classified as follows: (a) transactions; (b) exchange rate changes; and (c) other changes.

a. Transactions

Changes in the IIP as a result of transactions refer to changes in financial assets and liabilities arising from transactions between residents and nonresidents and correspond to the financial account in the BOP for the relevant period.

b. Exchange rate changes

While in the case of the IIP exchange rates at the end of the period are employed for the conversion of foreign currency-denominated items, exchange rates at the time of transaction are used in the case of the BOP. Therefore, if exchange rates at the time of transaction and at the end of the period differ, flow data in the BOP and the corresponding changes in positions in the IIP for the same asset will not be the same. Moreover, even for items in which no transactions took place, positions may change as a result of exchange rate changes, since exchange rates at the end of each period are used for conversion.

c. Other changes

(1) Changes in market prices

The IIP is in principle compiled by revaluating external financial assets and liabilities at market value at the end of the period. Therefore, as with the case of exchange rates, changes in market prices, such as stock and bond prices, partly account for the changes in positions.

(2) Other volume changes

Other volume changes are changes in positions due neither to transactions nor to revaluation. A concrete example is write-offs arising from debtors' bankruptcy. (By contrast, debt forgiveness is treated as a transaction and is therefore not included in other volume changes.) Changes in positions due to changes in residence of parties concerned are also included. For example, if a resident holding deposits with a foreign financial institution moves overseas and becomes a nonresident, Japan's financial assets will decrease. Moreover, reclassification affects specific items, although it does not affect the total international investment position. For example, an increase in the holdings of a foreign company's equity by an investor could lead to such holdings being reclassified from portfolio investment to direct investment.

In Japan, the contribution of other changes is derived as follows. First, from the changes in positions from the previous period, the contribution of transactions to such changes is removed. Then, the contribution of exchange rate changes to the figure thus obtained is estimated. Lastly, the residual is treated as the contribution of other changes.

3. Regional breakdown

Data for 33 major countries and regions are compiled and disseminated for the year-end positions of direct investment, portfolio investment, and financial derivatives (other than reserves). Data for assets in the direct investment and portfolio investment positions are also compiled and disseminated on a regional basis for all countries in which investments have been conducted. In addition, data by region (for the 33 major countries and regions) and industry (where data by industry are classified on the basis of the investee such as a subsidiary) are compiled and disseminated for direct investment positions. For inward direct investment positions, data by region (for the 33 major countries and regions) classified according to the country in which the ultimate investor holding ultimate control resides are also compiled and disseminated for reference. It should be noted, however, that the recording principle of direct investment positions employed for the data by region and industry as well as by the country in which the ultimate investor resides differs from that for the compilation of the IIP, etc. For details, see Recording Principles of Direct Investment.

C. Gross External Debt Position of Japan

The Gross External Debt Position of Japan (External Debt) systematically summarizes, at a given time, the value and breakdown of gross debt liabilities of residents to nonresidents on a market value basis. The statistics are compiled and disseminated on a quarterly basis, and data are broken down by sector, by maturity, and by debt instrument. Compared to the liability side of the IIP, the External Debt has the following characteristics: (1) only debt instruments that require the payment of principal and/or interest at some point in the future are covered, and thus equity and investment fund shares and financial derivatives are excluded; (2) information with different dimensions from the IIP, including the external debt burden and liquidity by sector, is provided.

D. External Assets and Liabilities of Banks, etc.

The 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 on assets and liabilities positions submitted by banks and others). The statistics are broken down into assets and liabilities, which are further cross-classified by maturity (long-term/short-term) and currency of denomination (foreign currency/yen).

IV. Reference Materials

A. Overview of Methods and Other Aspects of the Release of BOP Related Statistics

On the Bank's web site, data for BOP related statistics are, in principle, available in the BOJ Time-Series Data Search; however, some data series are provided on the Balance of Payments page. In addition, materials (such as press releases) providing an overview of recent data can be found on the MOF web site (Link to an external website).

Flow data

Flow data
  Frequency of compilation
Time of release
Available in
Balance of Payments (Preliminary)
  • Monthly
  • On the sixth business day of the month after next
  • BOJ Time-Series Data Search1
  • Press release (MOF web site)
Balance of Payments (Second preliminary)
  • Quarterly
  • On the sixth business day of the first month of the quarter after next
  • BOJ Time-Series Data Search1
  • Press release (MOF web site)
Balance of Payments (Annually revised)
  • Annual
  • On the sixth business day of April of the next year and the year after next 3
  • BOJ Time-Series Data Search1
Direct Investment by Region and Industry (Quarterly data)
Direct Investment Income
Direct Investment Flows
  • Quarterly
  • On the sixth business day of the first month of the quarter after next
  • "Balance of Payments"
  • Press release (MOF web site)
Direct Investment by Region and Industry (Annual data)
Direct Investment Income
Direct Investment Flows
  • Annual
  • On the sixth business day of April of the next year
  • "Balance of Payments"2
  • Press release (MOF web site)
Direct Investment by Region and Industry (Annual data) (Annually revised)
Direct Investment Income
Direct Investment Flows
  • Annual
  • On the sixth business day of May of the year after next 3
  • "Balance of Payments"2
Regional Balance of Payments
-- by country (33 countries) and region
  • Quarterly
  • On the sixth business day of the second month of the quarter after next
  • BOJ Time-Series Data Search2
  • Press release (MOF web site)
Regional Balance of Payments (Annually revised)
-- by country (33 countries) and region
  • Annual
  • On the sixth business day of May of the next year and the year after next 3
  • BOJ Time-Series Data Search2
Seasonal Factors
  • Twice a year
  • On the sixth business day of March and May
  • BOJ Time-Series Data Search
(Reference)
International Transactions in Securities (based on reports from designated major investors)
  • Weekly/Monthly
  • Weekly figures: following week;Monthly figures: following month
  • MOF web site

Notes:

  1. Figures are preliminary until second preliminary figures are released. With each annual revision, figures are replaced by annually revised figures.
  2. With each annual revision, figures are replaced by annually revised figures.
  3. In order to adjust the recording period for reinvested earnings, "reinvested earnings" figures and "reinvestment of earnings" figures as well as higher-level items in which they are included will be revised for another year.

Stock data

Stock data
  Frequency of compilation
Time of release
Available in
International Investment Position of Japan (Calendar Year Data)
  • Annual
  • By the end of May of the next year
    Annually revised: by the end of May of the year after next
  • BOJ Time-Series Data Search 4
Regional Direct Investment Position
-- by country (33 countries) and region
Regional Portfolio Investment and Financial Derivatives Position
-- by country (33 countries) and region
Portfolio Investment and Financial Derivatives Position by Sector of Resident Holder and Region (Assets)
-- by country (33 countries) and region
Portfolio Investment Position by Currency and Type of Securities
Debt Position (Assets/Liabilities) by Currency
Debt Position (Assets/Liabilities) by Currency (Foreign Currency/Japanese Yen)
Direct Investment by Region and Industry
Direct Investment Position -- by country (33 countries) and region
"Balance of Payments" 4
Regional Direct Investment Position (Inward investment) (Ultimate investor)
-- by country (33 countries) and region
  • Annual
  • On the sixth business day of June of the next year
    Annually revised: on the sixth business day of June of the year after next
  • BOJ Time-Series Data Search 4
International Investment Position of Japan (Quarterly Data)
  • Quarterly
  • Preliminary estimate: on the sixth business day of the last month of the next quarter
    Revised estimate: on the sixth business day of the last month of the quarter after next
  • BOJ Time-Series Data Search 5
Gross External Debt Position of Japan
International Investment Position of Japan (Quarterly Data) (Annually revised)
  • Annual
  • On the sixth business day of June of the next year and the year after next
Gross External Debt Position of Japan (Annually revised)
(Reference)
Regional Direct Investment Position and Regional Portfolio Investment Position (Assets) (All regions)
-- all countries and regions for which positions are available
  • Annual
  • By the end of May of the next year
    Annually revised: by the end of May of the year after next
  • MOF web site 4

Notes:

  1. 4With each annual revision, figures are replaced by annually revised figures.
  2. 5Figures are preliminary until revised estimates are released. With each annual revision, figures are replaced by annually revised figures.

B. Time-Series Data in the BOJ Time-Series Data Search

The following time-series data for the BOP related statistics are available in the BOJ Time-Series Data Search. Data can be searched by clicking on "Balance of Payments," under "Search by statistics."

Time-Series Data in the BOJ Time-Series Data Search
Time Series Period Standard framework
(edition of the Balance of Payments Manual)
Balance of Payments From January 2014 onward BPM6 List of series codes [XLSX 281KB]
-- Data series of the Balance of Payments are linked with historical data rearranged based on the BPM6 for January 1996 through December 2013.
Regional Balance of Payments (Quarterly)
International Investment Position of Japan (Calendar Year Data ) From the end of 2014 onward BPM6 List of series codes [XLSX 176KB]
-- Data series are linked with historical data rearranged based on the BPM6 for 1996 through 2013.
International Investment Position of Japan (Quarterly Data) & Gross External Debt Position of Japan From the end of March 2014 onward BPM6 List of series codes [XLSX 22KB]
Historical Data Rearranged Based on the BPM6 From January 1996 through December 2013 Data that were originally compiled based on the BPM5 and have been rearranged based on the sixth edition 1
List of series codes [XLSX 37KB]
Balance of Payments (through 2013) From January 1996 through December 2013 BPM5, after the revision of the statistical treatment of financial derivatives2
Regional Balance of Payments (Quarterly) (through 2013)
Balance of Payments (Before the revision of the statistical treatment of financial derivatives [through Dec. 2001, Provisional]) From January 1985 through the provisional data for December 2001 From January 1996 through the provisional data for December 2001: BPM5, before the revision of the statistical treatment of financial derivatives 2
From January 1985 through December 1995: Data that were originally compiled based on the BPM4 and were rearranged based on the fifth edition before the revision of the statistical treatment of financial derivatives 3

Notes:

  1. For further information, see "Release of the Historical Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Data Rearranged Based on BPM6" released on April 8, 2014. For revisions of the data, see Notices of Changes and Corrections on the Balance of Payments page.
  2. For details, see "Modification of Structure on Financial Derivatives" released on February 14, 2002.
  3. Rearranged data for main components and seasonally-adjusted current account items are available from January 1985, and for other items from January 1991.

C. Related Web Sites

The Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Statistics (Link to an external website) on the IMF web site provide related materials, including the full text ofBPM6 and explanations about the switch-over from BPM5 to BPM6.