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Japan Warning On Excessive Yen Moves

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Japan issued a strong warning regarding its readiness to intervene in the currency market:

Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki stated that last week’s meeting with his American and South Korean counterparts laid the groundwork for Tokyo’s intervention against excessive movements of the yen. He issued the strongest warning yet about the possibility of intervention.

Suzuki told parliament on Tuesday, “I have expressed my serious concern about how the weakness of the yen leads to an increase in import costs. Our viewpoints were exchanged not only in a meeting with my South Korean counterpart but also in the trilateral meeting that included the United States.”

He said, “I won’t deny that these developments have laid the foundation for Japan to take appropriate action (in the currency market), although I won’t say what this action is.” The new warnings came after the dollar rose to 154.85 yen, its strongest level against the Japanese currency since 1990, keeping the markets on high alert for any signs of Tokyo intervening to support the yen.

The United States, Japan, and South Korea agreed to “close consultation” on foreign exchange markets in their first trilateral financial dialogue last week, acknowledging Tokyo and Seoul’s concerns about recent sharp declines in their currencies. Some analysts viewed this rare warning from the finance ministers of the three countries, included in a joint statement after their meeting, as unofficial approval from Washington for Tokyo and Seoul to intervene in the market when necessary.

Satsuki Katayama, executive director of the ruling party, said Japan could intervene in the currency market at any time, as the recent yen declines are excessive and do not align with fundamentals.

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