Speculative moves behind the rapid weakening of the yen, warns the Japanese finance minister

TOKYO: Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki warned on Friday (July 15th) of “speculative moves” behind the yen’s rapid weakening, using the strongest wording yet as the yen weakened to fresh 24-year lows above 139 yen to the dollar. .

“I am concerned about the recent sharp weakening of the yen,” Suzuki told reporters, adding that the government would liaise with the Bank of Japan while closely monitoring the currency’s movements more urgently.

“We will take an appropriate response if necessary, while also seeking to communicate closely with currency authorities from other countries,” Suzuki said, signaling his willingness to intervene to stem the yen’s weakening.

However, Japan is unlikely to get support from the United States for any concerted action to weaken the dollar as the Federal Reserve struggles to raise interest rates to beat rising inflation.

On the other hand, the Bank of Japan is expected to continue strong monetary easing to support the fragile economy, causing interest rate differentials to weaken the yen.

Suzuki said the G20 said Japan was closely monitoring sudden currency changes with a great sense of urgency.

Suzuki spoke to reporters after attending the first day of a two-day meeting of the Group of 20 financial leaders on the Indonesian island of Bali, with the global economy, health and low-income countries’ debt issues on the agenda.

As Ukraine’s finance minister attended the meeting online, Suzuki said Japan reaffirmed its solidarity with Ukraine and condemned Russia for its invasion of the country.

Suzuki told the G20 that “the global economy is facing many difficulties because of Russia’s war (in Ukraine). Russia is making it difficult to hold a constructive debate at the G20… Russia is responsible for all the economic consequences of the war.”

Russia was represented at the meeting by the Deputy Minister of Finance, and Suzuki decided to send harsh messages against him without leaving. Other G7 countries have also refrained from leaving, he said, adding that it was difficult to say whether the G20 could issue a statement.

At the meeting, Suzuki expressed his gratitude to the many countries that have offered their condolences to slain former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was gunned down by a man a week ago while campaigning for the Upper House election last Sunday.

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