IMF team to address yen during trip

Kyodo

The IMF said it will send a team to Tokyo this week to discuss the yen’s appreciation with government officials, academics and business leaders.

“The mission will especially discuss near-term risks, including from the ongoing crisis in Europe and the volatile currency markets, where the Japanese yen appreciated significantly,” Anoop Singh, director of the International Monetary Fund’s Asia and Pacific Department, said in a statement Friday.

The IMF team “will seek to assess (the near-term risks’) impact on the Japanese economy and policy options to mitigate them,” Singh said.

The mission, which will start Monday and end Feb. 13, will also “examine potential further steps to combat deflation and raise growth, through monetary policy as well as comprehensive structural reforms,” he added. Singh also said the Washington-based institution will focus on Japan’s plans to reduce its public debt burden over the medium term through tax reforms and spending programs.

The IMF also is expected to press Tokyo to make further efforts to restore its fiscal health by raising the consumption tax beyond the 10 percent the government is aiming to achieve by 2015.