While less than 5% of all American own physical gold and silver as an investment, or wealth protection, Asian countries like China and Japan continue to buy the precious metal in large quantities, and look to raise the stakes by putting pension fund deposits to work buying even more.
It is time for the November update, and it's a doozy: at 90.8 tons, this was the second highest gross import number of 2012, double the 47 tons imported in October (which many saw, incorrectly, as an indication of China's waning interest in the yellow metal), and brings the Year to Date total to a massive 720 tons of gold through November. If last year is any indication, the December total will be roughly the same amount, and will bring the total 2012 import amount to over 800 tons, double the 392.6 tons imported in 2011. - Zerohedge
Japanese pension funds, the world’s second-largest pool of retirement assets after the U.S., will more than double their gold holdings in the next two years as the new government pushes for a higher inflation target, according to an adviser to the funds.
Assets held by Japanese pension funds in gold-backed exchange-traded products may expand to 100 billion yen ($1.1 billion) by 2015 from less than 45 billion yen at present, said Itsuo Toshima, who represented the Tokyo office of World Gold Council for 23 years through 2011. - Bloomberg
China has been seeking to fortify their reserves in preparation of a new global reserve currency, and one that may be tied to gold once again. For Japan, who has been creating new trade partnerships with China and other Asian nations outside the reserve currency, the belief that coming inflation in the U.S. economy may lead to a tremendous winfall should gold escalate to high predictions for the metal.