Japan MOF’s Kanda Warns against Yen’s Weakness

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Finance Ministry’s headquarters building in Tokyo.

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Japanese Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs Masato Kanda on Monday warned against the yen’s recent weakness after the dollar hit a fresh four-month high versus the Japanese currency.

The recent movements of dollar-yen rates are “not in line with (economic) fundamentals,” Kanda told reporters. “There are clearly speculations behind the developments.”

“Against excessive fluctuations, we’ll take appropriate actions without excluding any means,” he said, adding that the government is “always ready” to take actions including currency market interventions.

“We’ve seen big fluctuations of dollar-yen rates, which moved 4 pct in just two weeks. We feel uncomfortable about that,” Kanda also said. “Speculation-driven excessive fluctuations negatively affect the national economy significantly and therefore cannot be tolerated.”

Kanda made the remarks after the dollar hit a four-month high of ¥151.86 Friday, approaching a key level of ¥151.94 marked in October 2022, when Japan carried out so-called stealth interventions, buying yen to sell dollars without announcing the moves immediately.

The yen’s recent weakness reflects a view among market players that the Bank of Japan is unlikely to raise interest rates further anytime soon after scrapping its negative interest rate policy last week.

The dollar stood at ¥151.23-24 at 11 a.m. in Tokyo on Monday, down from ¥151.41-42 at 5 p.m. Friday.