Japan Finmin Warns of Action against Disorderly Yen Moves

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan will continue to closely watch the foreign exchange market and take all measures against disorderly currency moves, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Tuesday after acknowledging that Tokyo had intervened recently to stem yen weakness.

Suzuki’s comments followed the release on Friday of Ministry of Finance data showing authorities spent 9.79 trillion yen ($62.2 billion) intervening in the market to support the yen over the past month, showed.

“The intervention was conducted to address excessive volatility driven by speculative moves in the currency market,” Suzuki said, speaking at a regular post-cabinet meeting news conference.

“We believe it had a certain effect from this standpoint,” he said, the first time Japanese officials have publicly confirmed that Tokyo had intervened in the currency market late in April and early May.

“The government will continue to closely monitor developments in the foreign exchange market and take all possible measures,” the finance minister added.

Asked about a widening safety test scandal that now forced Toyota Motor 7203.T and Mazda 7261.T to halt shipments of some vehicles, Suzuki said he was concerned about potentially large auto production cuts in the future.

“The halt of automobile production has a very large impact on the Japanese economy,” he said, noting that previous production halts had negatively impacted first quarter gross domestic product growth.

“We will closely monitor how the impact would widen.”