Finance Minister Jun Azumi said Friday Japan “will act decisively” to stem the yen’s sharp appreciation against other major currencies if necessary, indicating possible market interventions.
But as the U.S. dollar’s fall against the yen was far less sharp than had been expected following the U.S. central bank’s decision Thursday to take additional monetary easing steps, Azumi’s comment could be seen as no more than a simple verbal warning.
“The recent one-sided movement of the yen does not reflect Japan’s real economic conditions and cannot be overlooked,” he told reporters. “We won’t rule out any steps against excessive fluctuations, and if necessary we will act decisively.”
The dollar briefly fell to a seven-month low of 77.13 yen overnight in New York after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced a fresh round of quantitative easing to boost the U.S. economy, but it then regained the lost ground with investors on the alert for possible intervention by Japanese monetary authorities, dealers said.
On Friday morning in Tokyo, the U.S. currency traded at around 77.60 yen.