Despite cultural animosity stemming from World War II, the pragmatic Beijing has bought tens of billions of dollars worth of Japanese stock. A fund called OD05 Omnibus, said to be linked to the Chinese government, is a major shareholder in 174 companies. Its holdings include a 1.9 percent stake in Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), 1.9 percent percent of Nikon Corp. (Tokyo: 7731) and 2.2 percent in Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC), according to the Japanese business daily Nikkei.
The investments are valued at 3.58 trillion yen ($45 billion), having tripled in value since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis.
When Europe is in such financial turmoil, Beijing needs to diversify its investment destinations, Tsuyoshi Ueno, senior economist at NLI Research Institute in Tokyo, told the AFP. China has so much in foreign currency reserves, and they need to invest it in blue-chip companies.
The China Investment Corp., which manages the country's $3 trillion in foreign investments, has said it scaled back on European equity and bond holdings during Greece and Spain's recent economic turmoil.