Japan is in discussions with Beijing to invest in Chinese government bonds, a move which would make it the first large economy to use the renminbi as a reserve currency, the Financial Times reported. “As we have to deepen economic ties, we are having many discussions. We believe the mutual benefits of investing in each other’s bonds would be substantial,” said Jun Azumi, Japan’s finance minister. If the plan were to go ahead, Japan would be the first G7 nation to hold renminbi in its foreign exchange reserves. Currently, the country’s US$1,304.7 billion of reserves is mostly in US dollar-denominated assets. A large country like Japan investing in renminbi debt would further strengthen the global role of the currency. “It makes sense for Japan to hold more renminbi bonds than US treasuries, given it does more trade with China than the US,” said Christian Carrillo, a strategist at Société Générale.