G-20 shows no interest in high yen

Kyodo

Finance Minister Jun Azumi says he raised concerns about the negative impact of the yen’s appreciation on Japan’s economy at this week’s Group of 20 financial meeting, but other participants didn’t discuss the issue at length.

“I explained that the Japanese economy has been on a recovery track but the yen’s appreciation since August has dampened the trend,” Azumi told a news conference Thursday after the G-20 meeting in Washington of finance chiefs from developed and emerging economies.

Azumi implied Japan’s position was shared among G-20 members as the communique issued after the dinner talks said: “We reiterate that excessive volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates have adverse implications for economic and financial stability.”

Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa also raised the issue at the G-20 gathering, telling participants that investors’ preference for safe-haven assets amid growing uncertainty over the global economy is driving the yen higher.

But Azumi conceded Tokyo’s concerns did not spark any discussions and said, “In the conference, we just explained our position country by country and no question-and-answer session followed.”