Amari wary of weakening of yen

Kyodo

Economic and fiscal policy minister Akira Amari expressed concern Tuesday about the yen potentially weakening to the extent of disadvantaging Japanese consumers through a rise in import costs.

The yen’s weakening “would be a tailwind to exporters but it would inflict negative damage to people’s livelihoods,” Amari told a press conference as the dollar traded mostly in the mid-¥89 range in the morning after it briefly climbed to ¥89.67 on Monday in the Oceanian market, its highest level since June 2010.

Referring to the yen’s downtrend, he said, “I hope it will come to a (level) that will minimize the negative impact to people’s lives.”

On Monday, Amari said livelihoods would be affected if the dollar were to rise to a triple-digit level against the yen.

Concerning Amari’s remarks, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference Tuesday that the government should “refrain from commenting on (a specific level of) exchange rates,” adding that he cannot say more than that the yen is “in a stage of correcting its excessive rise.”

Separately, touching on the fact that the Nikkei topped the 10,900 line in the morning, its highest level since April 2010, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said he thinks financial markets are welcoming a recently compiled stimulus package entailing the biggest government outlay since fiscal 2009.