Japan's net balance of external assets hit a record 418.63 trillion yen ($3 trillion) in 2022, up 0.2 percent from a year earlier, inflated by the yen's sharp depreciation, the Finance Ministry said Friday.

The nation remained the world's biggest creditor for the 32nd straight year in yen terms, ahead of Germany that had net external assets of 389.05 trillion yen and China with 335.78 trillion yen, according to data from the International Monetary Fund and other institutions.

File photo taken on Jan. 13, 2021, shows Japan's Finance Ministry in Tokyo. (Kyodo)

External assets held by the Japanese government, companies and individual investors stood at 1,338.24 trillion yen, the highest ever and marking the 14th straight annual gain, up 6.5 percent.

The yen plunged last year against other major currencies, falling nearly 15 percent against the U.S. dollar, as the monetary policy path of the dovish Bank of Japan diverged from that of the U.S. Federal Reserve, which along with other central banks entered an interest rate hike cycle.

Prices of overseas government bonds fell as their yields rose, limiting the annual increase in the net balance, the ministry data showed.

Japan's overseas liabilities rose to a record 919.61 trillion yen, up 9.6 percent from a year earlier, after the nation saw an expansion of direct investment by non-Japanese residents. It was the fourth straight year of increase.