In his first acknowledgment of a record intervention in the currency market, Japan’s finance minister has defended the government action.

"We intervened in the market to counter excessive FX moves, which were driven by speculation,” Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki told reporters Tuesday. "From that standpoint, we believe that it had a certain effect.”

Suzuki’s remarks were the first from any official since his ministry disclosed figures Friday that show it spent ¥9.8 trillion ($62.7 billion) to prop up the yen between April 26 and May 29.