Japan may intervene to support yen any time, says senior ruling party official

By Thomson Reuters Apr 23, 2024 | 1:17 AM

By Kentaro Sugiyama

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese authorities could intervene in the currency market any time as recent yen declines are excessive and out of line with fundamentals, ruling party executive Satsuki Katayama told Reuters.

The dollar/yen has risen to near 155 from around 140 at the outset of this year, which can be described as excessive volatility, said Katayama, who is acting chairperson of the Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) policy research council.

“I don’t think Japan will face any criticism if it were to act now,” Katayama said in an interview on Monday, when asked about the timing of a possible currency intervention by Japanese authorities to prop up the yen.

Japanese authorities could have intervened around the time of last week’s meeting of G7 finance leaders in Washington, said Katayama, who has experience working at the Ministry of Finance.

While authorities did not take any action so far, they are likely scrutinising the best timing to maximise the impact of currency intervention, she said.

Katayama said the Bank of Japan should not rush into raising interest rates again given uncertainty over the global economic outlook.

A broad dollar rally driven by receding market expectations of a near-term U.S. interest rate cut has pushed the yen to a 34-year low, heightening the chance of currency intervention by Japanese authorities.

The dollar stood at 154.85 yen, approaching the 155 level seen by traders as Tokyo’s line-in-the-sand that could prompt it to step into the market.

(Reporting by Kentaro Sugiyama, writing by Leika Kihara; Editing Shri Navaratnam)