Japan says Yellen respects its decision not to disclose any FX intervention

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen participates in a discussion at the annual Freedman’s Bank Forum at the Treasury Department in Washington on October 4.

TOKYO, Oct 26 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen respects Japan’s stance of not disclosing whether it had intervened in the foreign exchange market, Japan’s top currency diplomat said on Wednesday, adding he was in close touch with the United States every day.

Masato Kanda made the comment after domestic media reported this week that Japan did not gain U.S. consent to its suspected foray in the market overnight on Friday, as the yen struck 32-year lows near 152 yen. That raised speculation that Japan and the United States might be at odds over currency policy, which would make it difficult to intervene further.

Group of Seven (G7) financial leaders make it a tacit rule that they inform partners when intervening in the market.

“We will monitor the market to see if there are any excessive, disorderly moves and will continue to take decisive steps as needed,” Vice Finance Minister of International Affairs Kanda told reporters at the ministry.

“Treasury Secretary Yellen respects Japan’s stance of not confirming whether or not we conducted intervention, so we appreciate that.”

Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki also said on Tuesday that Japan was closely in touch with the United States and that both have reaffirmed the Group of Seven agreement on currencies.

Since Japan’s yen-buying intervention on Sept. 22, the authorities have kept mum on whether they had entered the currency market, although sources have said stealth intervention was conducted last Friday and this Monday.

Japan likely spent as much as 9.2 trillion yen ($62 billion) in total since last month to prop up its currency, according to market estimates.

On Wednesday morning, the dollar was broadly weaker amid signs that Federal Reserve rate hikes are slowing the U.S. economy. The greenback hit a 32-year high against the yen of 151.94 on Friday.