Japan overtook China as the top foreign holder of U.S. government debt for the first time since the global financial crisis, a sign of economic and policy shifts in Asia’s two largest economies.

Japan’s ownership of Treasuries fell by US$14.2 billion, to $1.2244 trillion, in February, according to Treasury Department data released Wednesday in Washington. China’s holdings were $1.2237 trillion as of February, $15.4 billion lower than a month earlier.

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