Foreign direct investment in China fell 6.8 percent in September from a year earlier to USD 8.43 billion for the fourth straight month of decline, China\'s Commerce Ministry said Friday, reflecting the global economic slowdown and Europe\'s debt crisis. For the first nine months of the year, direct investment from overseas dropped 3.8 percent on the year to USD 83.42 billion with investment from the European Union shrinking 6.3 percent, the ministry said. But Japanese investment in China surged 17.0 percent in the reporting period. \"Investment from developed economies including the EU, the US and Japan saw both rises and drops, but the drops have narrowed in general,\" ministry spokesman Shen Danyang explained at a press conference in Beijing, according to state-run Xinhua News Agency. Data on Thursday showed the world\'s second-largest economy expanded 7.4 percent year-on-year in the July-September period, marking the seventh consecutive quarter of fall and the lowest growth rate since the first quarter of 2009 when the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered global financial turmoil. During recent talks on economic conditions, Premier Wen Jiabao said China\'s economic growth had started to stabilize and witnessed positive changes with the economy running well in the third quarter. The country has made \"stabilizing growth\" a top priority this year amid the economy\'s downward pressure.