Japanese cabinet ministers expressed concern about the yen’s rapid fall, suggesting that the government may be trying to ward off any criticism that it is intentionally devaluing its currency to boost exporters’ competitiveness.
The yen hovered near a seven-year low versus the dollar on Friday, having tumbled around 7 yen this week after the Bank of Japan stunned investors by expanding its quantitative easing program on Oct. 31.
Policymakers have stated the BOJ’s easing is not targeted at the yen, but some politicians worry higher import prices will hurt the economy.
Japan’s monetary policy has escaped criticism from other countries so far, but there are concerns that if the yen weakens too quickly, overseas officials will criticize Tokyo for manipulating the yen to reflate its economy with a beggar-thy-neighbor currency policy.
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