Japan Officials Mum Over Possible Yen Intervention; Movement in Overseas Market Hints at Action

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Masato Kanda, vice finance minister for international affairs, speaks to reporters at the Finance Ministry on Tuesday morning.

The yen was traded at the upper ¥156 level against the U.S. dollar in Tokyo on Tuesday, not much change from the previous day’s closing. Although some movement in overseas markets on Monday indicated possible interventions by the Japanese government and the Bank of Japan, Japan officials made no specific comments.

“I will refrain from commenting on trends in the foreign exchange market or foreign exchange intervention, including whether the government took such action,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday.

“This is what the government is saying,” he told reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Masato Kanda, vice finance minister for international affairs, likewise said he had no comment about whether interventions took place. “[We are monitoring the market] around the clock, so it doesn’t matter whether it’s in London or New York,” he told reporters.

“Excessive market fluctuations caused by speculative moves will have a negative impact on people’s lives,” Kanda added.

Yen-selling and dollar-buying accelerated Monday, and the yen temporarily dropped to the ¥160 range against the dollar. It then rapidly appreciated, hitting the ¥154 level against the dollar at one point.

Many in the market believe the Japanese government and the BOJ may have intervened to buy the yen and sell the dollar.