Japan top FX diplomat Kanda: Will take appropriate actions on forex if needed

By Thomson Reuters Feb 13, 2024 | 5:54 PM

By Tetsushi Kajimoto

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s top currency diplomat Masato Kanda said on Wednesday the nation would take appropriate actions on forex if needed as authorities see the fall in the yen as fast enough to undermine the trade-reliant economy.

“Recent currency moves are rapid. The yen has weakened by nearly 10 yen over the period of one month or so, such a rapid move is not good for the economy,” Kanda, the vice finance minister for international affairs, told reporters at his office.

“We are closely watching currency markets with a strong sense of urgency and will act appropriately as needed.”

When asked whether the appropriate steps could include intervening in the market to stem the yen weakness, Kanda said authorities would take the most appropriate action.

“We are always watching the market 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to prepare for anything that may happen.”

Kanda made the comment to reporters hours after a stronger-than-expected U.S. inflation data triggered the dollar to spike against the yen.

Market players have been pondering the future pace of the Fed rate cuts while speculating about the timing about the Bank of Japan’s exit from negative interest rates and other unconventional policy measures.

Japan intervened in the currency market three times in 2022 when the yen plunged to 32-year lows near 152 yen to the dollar, conducting rare dollar-selling, yen-buying intervention.

Authorities have not intervened in the market since then.

(Additional reporting by Yoshifumi Takemoto and Kantaro Komiya; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)