(MONEY.CNN) — China's massive stake in U.S. Treasuries gets a lot of attention. But it's Japan, and not China, that has been busy gobbling up U.S. debt over the past year.
In fact, Japan could soon pass China as the largest foreign holder of Treasuries. China held about $1.15 trillion in U.S. bonds through August, the most recent reading available from the Treasury Department. That's little changed from the start of the year and down from 12 months ago.
Meanwhile, Japan has been steadily adding to its Treasury holdings. It now owns $1.12 trillion, up 24% from a year ago.
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But despite this trend, it's the Chinese ownership of U.S. debt that has become an issue in the presidential election.