Japan’s finance minister warned he was ready to take action in the foreign exchange market if needed, but stopped short of his maximum threat, comments that fueled renewed yen weakness after the currency slumped to a fresh 34-year low overnight.

"We are closely monitoring the latest developments,” Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said Tuesday in Tokyo before his departure to Washington for annual International Monetary Fund events and meetings of finance chiefs of the Group of Seven and Group of Twenty nations. "We are prepared to take all possible measures to respond to the situation if it is necessary.”

Suzuki didn’t roll out the threat of taking "bold” action if needed, the most direct hint of possible intervention in foreign exchange markets, a phrase he used last month when the currency approached the ¥152 mark against the dollar.