Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi said that authorities are watching currency markets closely as the government seeks to sustain an economic recovery.
“We’re monitoring the currency market with great interest, and I won’t be swayed by daily movements,” Azumi said in a group interview in Tokyo. “Our reaction will be determined by examining trends in currencies.”
Government interventions last year pulled the yen back from a post-World War II high of 75.35 against the dollar, aiding exporters who face reduced sales and profits when the currency gains. Monetary loosening by the Bank of Japan has also helped to rein in the currency, with the yen at 80.70 as of 6:21 p.m. in Tokyo today.
Azumi added that he’s “fully aware of the impact of currencies on the economy, and I believe the Bank of Japan is also watching the currency market with great interest.”
He said he doesn’t see the need to revise the Bank of Japan (8301) Law, which guarantees the bank’s independence, nor set up a new legal accord to require the bank to coordinate policies with the government.
The finance chief said the government will this week start “concrete high-level discussions” with other countries about contributions to the International Monetary Fund’s efforts to contain Europe’s debt crisis. Azumi said that while Europe has made some progress in building firewalls to prevent financial contagion, more can be done.
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