Mitsuzuka vows to control yen’s fall

Finance Minister Hiroshi Mitsuzuka, in response to the dollar’s rally Feb. 12, said the government will monitor the foreign exchange market and take “appropriate steps” to control it.

The dollar rallied to the 124 yen level in Tokyo trading and was quoted at 124.14-18 yen at 5 p.m. as it carried the Japanese currency along with its surge against the German mark. The greenback in effect returned to the range prevailing prior to the meeting Feb. 8 of the Group of Seven industrialized nations, which hinted that the dollar’s rise was undesirable.

At one point in the day, the yen fell to 124.48 against the dollar. Mitsuzuka observed that the main cause of the day’s movements in the foreign exchange markets was the weakening of the mark due to concerns over Germany’s future economic performance.

“Authorities will continue to closely monitor action in the (foreign currency) markets and will take appropriate steps against excessive movements,” he told a news conference. He also stressed that the G-7 nations are in agreement with Japan’s position that an excessively weak yen was as unwelcome as an excessively strong one.