TOKYO — Japan will carefully watch foreign exchange market moves to avoid “bad yen weakening,” Minister of Finance Shunichi Suzuki said on Tuesday, as Tokyo tries to navigate the economic impact of the rapidly rising cost of imports from a weakening currency.
Previously, Suzuki has repeated that currency stability was important and the weak yen would be positive for exporters but negative for households already facing surging fuel prices amid the war in Ukraine.
Following Suzuki’s remarks, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno warned against rapid yen swings as undesirable, saying that he would watch the market with “a sense of urgency.”
Both policymakers were speaking separately to reporters after the Japanese currency hit six-year lows beyond 125 yen versus the U.S. dollar on Monday, raising concern about the impact on the cost of living for the trade-reliant economy.
The yen weakening accelerated on Monday after the Bank of Japan moved to contain rising bond yields, even as most other major central banks including the U.S. Federal Reserve were tightening monetary policy.
“I expect that the BOJ will steer monetary policy with responsibility,” Suzuki said, when asked about his view on the central bank’s policy and its weakening effect on the yen. (Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Christopher Cushing & Shri Navaratnam)
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