• Kyodo

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Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa said Sunday he expects the yen to move between 130 and 135 to the dollar, according to a ministry official.

Shiokawa broached the issue of foreign-exchange rates during a meeting in Washington with Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin.

“I expect the yen will range between 130 and 135 because there has not been a major change in Japan’s economic fundamentals,” Shiokawa was quoted as telling Kudrin.

Shiokawa and Kudrin held talks one day after finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven industrial powers concluded a two-day meeting in the U.S. capital.

Kudrin participated Friday in a G7 working dinner aimed at exchanging views on the Russian economy.

Shiokawa told Kudrin that he hopes the Japanese economy will grow 1 percent in fiscal 2003, the official said.

He also told Kudrin that the domestic economy is bottoming out and is improving in the wake of structural reforms, the official said.

“Japan’s economy remains severe, but it will experience zero growth in fiscal 2002 and will hopefully grow 1 percent in fiscal 2003,” Shiokawa was quoted as saying.

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